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An example of the use of this table is as follows. If the estimate of the number of Australian resident departures for short-term visits abroad is 500, then the standard error on this estimate is 130 i.e. there are two chances in three that the actual number of Australian resident departures for short-term visits abroad will lie between 370 and 630 and nineteen chances in twenty that it will lie between 240 and 760.
The larger the size of an estimate the smaller the relative standard error. For any estimate of greater than 10,000 the relative standard error will be less than 6%.
The estimate of the difference between an estimate in two different periods or between different estimates from the same period is also subject to sampling error. The standard error on the difference between any two estimates which are subject to sampling error can be approximated by using the larger standard error of the estimates inflated by a factor of 1.4.
An example of the use of this procedure is as follows. Assume the estimates of the number of arrivals to Australia from Taiwan during January 2002 and January 2003 are 1,500 and 750 respectively. The difference between the 2002 and 2003 figures is 750 and the standard errors on these estimates are approximately 190 and 140. The standard error on the difference is approximately 266 (1.4 x 190), and there are nineteen chances in twenty that the estimate of the difference between the two years will lie between 218 and 1,282.
ESTIMATED NUMBER OF MOVEMENTS, GREATER THAN 10,000
Currently, standard errors are provided for estimates up to 10,000. The ABS is reviewing the Standard Error table with the view of providing standard errors for movements greater than 10,000. Standard errors should be considered when comparing movements in the levels of estimates for different time periods, or in comparing estimates of various characteristics.
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