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The population Census provides a unique opportunity to obtain detailed information from the whole population of Australia in a way that supports tabulation for small geographic areas and fine classificatory items. This paper discusses a thematic form approach to the Census that aims to extend the number of items collected in the Census without increasing the respondent burden. The approach involves identifying a subset of the current Census items as core items (to be included on all forms), with the remaining questions plus a number of additional questions being arranged into ‘themes’; in the simplest version each form contains a single theme.
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