Australian Bureau of Statistics
2901.0 - Census Dictionary, 2001
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/04/2001
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See Ancestry (ANCP), Birthplace, Language Spoken at Home (LANP), Proficiency in Spoken English (ENGP), Year of Arrival in Australia (YARP).
See Dwelling, Dwelling Structure (STRD).
See Derivations and imputations.
See Residual categories and supplementary codes.
Indigenous Areas (IAREs) are aggregates of Collection Districts (CDs) which represent a population of at least around 300 Indigenous persons grouped on the basis of language or culture. IAREs aggregate to ATSIC Regions. IAREs, cover the whole of Australia.
See also ATSIC Region, Indigenous Location (ILOC).
The ABS has implemented procedures tailored to the enumeration of Indigenous people living in discrete communities since the 1976 Census. The 2001 Census procedures build on this experience with the 2001 Census Indigenous Enumeration Strategy. This strategy ensures that procedures can be tailored in response to each Indigenous community's requirements.
Central to this strategy is the role undertaken by the State Indigenous Manager (SIM). The role of the SIM is to lay the groundwork for a successful enumeration by working with Indigenous groups and media to encourage participation. The SIM also coordinates the enumeration activities which affect Indigenous peoples.
As in the past, Census Field Officers are employed to work with Indigenous communities to ensure they are counted in the Census. This includes gaining community acceptance for the Census and the recruitment of local field staff.
In certain Indigenous communities, an interview form designed to be appropriate to Indigenous culture is used. This part of the strategy is used in discrete communities where communities indicate the need due to the cultural or language situation. In these cases Census Field Officers recruit, train and work with people from the community so that they can manage the enumeration and conduct the interviews.
In other areas, Indigenous peoples are enumerated using standard procedures and forms. Special Collectors skilled in Indigenous languages and culture are available to assist in these areas if required.
An Indigenous Family is one where either the reference person and/or spouse/partner is of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin. Clients may request tables on other definitions of Indigenous Family.
See also Family, Indigenous Status (INGP).
An Indigenous Household is a family household where any family in the household is defined as an Indigenous family or a lone person household where the lone person is of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin. Group households are not included. Clients may request tables on other definitions of Indigenous Household. See also Household.
Data on specific Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages are only available for the 1996 and 2001 Censuses.
The Census asks a question on language spoken at home. The question may not collect complete language use data, but does give an indication of the number of speakers of Indigenous languages in Australia.
See also Language Spoken at Home (LANP).
Indigenous Locations (ILOCs) are single CDs or aggregates of CDs which have a population of at least 80 Indigenous persons. ILOCs aggregate to Indigenous Areas (IAREs). ILOCs cover the whole of Australia. See also ATSIC Region, Indigenous Area (IARE).
The origin question on the census form asks whether each person is of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin. The purpose of the question is to provide data about both groups of Australia's Indigenous people.
Torres Strait Islanders are the descendants of the Indigenous people of the Torres Strait, between the tip of Cape York and Papua New Guinea.
A question on origin has been asked in all censuses. However, prior to the 1971 Census Indigenous peoples were counted in order to exclude them from population estimates for each State/Territory. The 1967 Referendum changed section 127 of the Constitution to allow Aboriginal people to be included in official census population counts. The 1971 and 1976 Censuses asked each person's racial origin. Since the 1981 Census the word 'racial' has been dropped from the question. The 1996 Census was the first census to allow people's origin to be recorded as both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander; prior to this only one or the other could be recorded.
See also Community Development Employment Program (CDEP), Indigenous enumeration, Indigenous Family, Indigenous Household, Indigenous languages.
This variable records the income level of people aged 15 years and over. People are asked to state their usual gross weekly income, which is the income before tax, superannuation, health insurance, or other deductions are made.
Gross income includes family payments, additional family payments, pensions, unemployment benefits, student allowances, maintenance (child support), superannuation, wages, salary, overtime, dividends, rents received, interest received, business or farm income (less operating expenses) and workers' compensation received.
People are not asked to state their exact income, only to indicate the range into which their income falls.
Income from some sources may be negative. As income from most sources is reported before deduction of expenses incurred in the earning of the income, these incomes are always a positive figure. However, business income from own unincorporated enterprise and income from rental property is collected net of expenses incurred in the raising of this income. Therefore, income derived from business or rental property may be negative, which may result in a negative total income.
Information on income distribution is important in planning public and private sector services such as social welfare and, particularly at the regional level, retail distribution and other commercial services.
A question on income was first asked in the 1933 Census in an attempt to assess the effects of the depression. It has subsequently been included in all censuses since 1976.
Family Income (FINF) and Household Income (HIND) are calculated from individual incomes. The income of other groups of people in a household can also be calculated on request. See also Family Income (FINF), Household Income (HIND), Median income.
This variable describes the industries in which employed people aged 15 years and over work.
For the 2001 Census a person's industry of employment is classified based on responses to a range of questions, and in particular Questions 38 and 39, which ask for a description of the business, and the main goods produced, or main services provided. The name of the business, the employed person's occupation and main tasks and duties, may also help in classifying industry of employment.
For the 1996 Census, in addition to the above, a person's industry of employment was also classified by use of the ABS's Business Register.
The 1993 edition of the ANZSIC is used in classifying the responses given to the industry questions for the 2001 Census.
There is not necessarily any relationship between the occupation of an individual and the industry in which he/she works; for example, a van driver for an establishment designated as being in the insurance industry is employed in that industry, not in the transport industry. One establishment may employ many people in different occupations but they are all coded to the industry of the establishment.
Information on the type of industry carried out by the employer at the workplace has been gathered in each census since 1911. The name of employer and address of workplace has been collected since the 1954 Census. The inclusion of the industry topic in the Census provides a source of useful information on the regional distribution and structure of Australian industry, and allows investigation of structural change in industry over time. It also provides information on the characteristics of workers by industry (such as age, qualification and occupation), which is important for workforce studies, and the identification of migrant and other groups by industry. See also Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), Journey to Work (JTW), Working population.
This variable classifies employed people aged 15 years and over according to whether they are employed in the government or non-government (private) sector.
Industry sector has separate categories for Commonwealth, State/Territory and Local Government, Community Development Employment Program, and the private sector.
See also Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), Community Development Employment Program (CDEP), Industry of Employment (INDP), Journey to Work (JTW), Working population.
The ABS offers a range of consultancy services for clients who require data which are not available in standard publications or products. Clients can obtain census data to meet their specific needs, including special cross classified tables, Community Profiles for non-standard areas, and thematic and reference maps. The price for customised census data varies depending on client requirements.
Contact details for Information Consultancy are provided on the back cover of this publication. See also Customised tables, Customised geographic reports, Customised Mapping Service.
See Dwelling, Type of Educational Institution Attending (TYPP).
The 2001 Census data are processed using Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR) technology. Specialised computer software is used to interpret the handwriting on images taken of each page of the census form. Once recognised, answers to census questions are then coded to the appropriate category of the relevant classification, for example Religion, Occupation, etc.
The 1996 Census was processed using Optical Mark Recognition technology, which was not capable of processing hand-written responses. See also Data processing.
Internal migration is the movement of people from one defined area to another within a country. Information on internal migration within Australia is available from the Census.
The Census asks a series of questions relating to each person's usual address. The indicative data from these questions are recorded as the Usual Address Indicator Census Night, Usual Address One Year Ago Indicator and Usual Address Five Years Ago Indicator (UAICP, UAI1P, UAI5P).
Using the following variables, it is possible to identify the pattern of movement of people for the year prior to the census date, and for five years prior to the census date:
State is needed because SLA codes are unique only within a State.
Data collected in the Census only reflect the latest movement in the intercensal period, even though there may have been multiple movements during this period.
Household mobility indicators are also derived using this information. Note that persons temporarily absent, visitors, and households containing only visitors, are excluded from these variables. The following two indicators are available for census data:
The data for place of usual residence are used mainly in conjunction with household mobility indicators for detailed internal migration studies.
Such studies must be undertaken carefully; the points illustrated in the following cases should be noted.
Since the indicators are derived from usual residence at certain dates, only the net effects of any multiple movements between these dates can be derived. For example, John A Citizen was living in a South Australian rural area at the time of the 1996 Census. Six months later he moved to Melbourne for two years, and then to Adelaide where he was living at the time of the 2001 Census. Census data would only show the net South Australian country to city movement.
No movement is shown in the internal migration data for 'Out and back' movements. For example, where a family move away from their place of usual residence to live elsewhere, then return before the end of the reference period to live at their previous address.
The ABS produces quarterly information on interstate migration in the publication Australian Demographic Statistics (Cat. no. 3101.0). The data are derived from a combination of information that is acquired from the census, and from unidentified information on interstate changes of address advised by the Health Insurance Commission. See also Usual residence.
See Web site.
The 2001 Census is the first census to seek information in Internet use. This variable provides information relating to people's use of the Internet in the week prior to Census Night. The question on Internet use allows for multiple responses. For example, a person who had used the Internet at home, at work and elsewhere, would be recorded as such for each category.
This information will help identify the level and location of Internet use. This is useful to both the government and private sectors for planning purposes.
Internet includes: Internet connections in private and business applications; Internet connection through a computer or set top box, games machine, mobile phone, or other means; and Internet used at other locations including libraries, Internet cafes, shops, educational institutions, or at a neighbour or friends place of residence. See also Computer Use at Home (COMP).
See Internal migration.
Under the Census and Statistics Act 1905, it is an offence to release any information collected under the Act that would enable identification of any particular individual or organisation. Introduced random error is used to ensure that no data are released which could risk the identification of individuals in the statistics.
Many classifications used in ABS statistics have an uneven distribution of data throughout their categories. For example, the number of people who are Anglican or born in Italy is quite large (3,903,324 and 238,246 respectively in 1996), while the number of people who are Buddhist or born in Chile (199,812 and 28,820 respectively in 1996) is relatively small. When religion is cross-classified with country of birth, the number in the table cell who are Anglican and who were born in Italy could be small, and the number of Buddhists born in Chile even smaller. These small numbers increase the risk of identifying individuals in the statistics.
Even when variables are more evenly distributed in the classifications, the problem still occurs. The more detailed the classifications, and the more of them that are applied in constructing a table, the greater the incidence of very small cells.
Care is taken in the specification of tables to minimise the risk of identifying individuals. In addition, a technique has been developed to randomly adjust cell values. Random adjustment of the data is considered to be the most satisfactory technique for avoiding the release of identifiable census data. When the technique is applied, cells with very small values are slightly adjusted to prevent any identifiable data being exposed. These adjustments result in small introduced random errors. However the information value of the table as a whole is not impaired.
The technique allows very large tables, for which there is a strong client demand, to be produced even though they contain numbers of very small cells.
The totals and sub-totals in summary tables are derived after the random adjustment process has been applied, thus they will include random error if there have been any adjustments to the cell components. Although each table of this kind is internally consistent, comparisons between tables which contain similar data may show some minor discrepancies. In addition the tables at different geographic levels are adjusted independently and tables at the higher geographic level may not be equal to the sum of the tables for the component geographic units.
It is not possible to determine which individual figures have been affected by random error adjustments, but the small variance which may be associated with derived totals can, for the most part, be ignored.
No reliance should be placed on small cells. Even without random error, firm reliance should not be placed on small cells since possible respondent and processing errors have greatest relative impact on small cells.
Some small cells have been randomly altered to zero. Caution should be exercised in deducing that there are no people or households in an area having particular characteristics.
Many different classifications are used in census tables and the tables are produced for a variety of geographical areas. The effect of the introduced random error is minimised if the statistic required is found direct from a tabulation rather than from aggregating more finely classified data. Similarly, rather than aggregating data from small areas to obtain statistics about a larger standard geographic area, published data for the larger area should be used wherever possible.
When calculating proportions, percentages or ratios from cross-classified or small area tables, the random error introduced can be ignored except when very small cells are involved, in which case the impact on percentages and ratios can be significant. See also Confidentiality.
This page last updated 23 October 2006
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