Self-enumeration is the term used to describe the way Census data are collected. The Census forms are generally completed by householders (or individuals in non-private dwellings) rather than by interviewers, although interviewers are available in some areas if required.
The ABS also implements a range of strategies which have been developed to overcome language and cultural barriers. The following Census related services assist the community:
Self-enumeration gives rise to some deficiencies in the reliability of the information collected. Where information is obtained through self-enumeration, interviewers cannot readily clarify issues, and so there is a higher probability that questions will be misunderstood. However, self-enumeration does avoid interviewer bias and is considered to be the most cost-efficient method of collecting information from the very large number of respondents involved in the Census.
- Census Inquiry Service;
- Telephone Interpreter Service;
- community liaison activities with ethnic groups;
- media promotion targeted towards specific groups; and
- interviews, with Indigenous interviewers and specially designed forms, in the discrete communities of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.