2062.0 - Census Data Enhancement Project: An Update, Oct 2010  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 15/10/2010   
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Contents >> Census Data Enhancement Project - 2011 >> 4 Bringing together the SLCD with other datasets without using name and address for statistical and research purposes


The 5% Statistical Longitudinal Census Dataset (SLCD) can be enhanced further by bringing it together with specified non-ABS datasets using statistical techniques.

What has changed since the 2006 Census

The 2006 Census Data Enhancement (CDE) project enabled the bringing together of the 5% SLCD with specified non-ABS datasets. There is no change to this intention. However, as for the linkage associated with the 5% SLCD dataset, it is intended to use a non-identifying grouped numeric code together with such data items as sex, date of birth and country of birth to link the 5% SLCD and non-ABS datasets. Name and address will not be used in bringing the datasets together.

It is not intended to bring together the 5% SLCD with ABS household survey data as the overlapping sample with the 5% SLCD would be too small to be useful.

Benefits of linking the SLCD with other non-ABS datasets

Some important data able to be used for statistical and research purposes are not collected by the ABS. However, in performing its functions under the Australian Bureau of Statistics Act 1975, once the data is supplied to the ABS the data is legally protected by the Census and Statistics Act 1905 which requires the ABS to keep information provided to it confidential.

Integrating the 5% SLCD with other non-ABS datasets can significantly enhance the statistical value of the SLCD. One example can be found in linking the 5% SLCD with the Department of Immigration and Citizenship's Settlement Database (SDB). From the Census information it is possible to tell whether someone was born in Australia or overseas, and in the latter case, the year of arrival in Australia. However, linking the SDB to the 5% SLCD, adds information on the type of visa used. As the socio-economic circumstances, areas of policy concern, and related policy implications for different visa types are very different, the ability to analyse the groups separately is important.

A quality study undertaken as part of the 2006 Census Data Enhancement (CDE) project found that linking the SDB to the 5% SLCD is feasible and will indeed produce useful information that no other data source currently provides (see Research Paper: Assessing the Quality of Linking Migrant Settlement Records to Census Data (ABS cat. no. 1351.0.55.027)).

Data involved in linking the SLCD with specified non-ABS datasets

The 2006 CDE project supported the bringing together of the 5% SLCD with three non-ABS datasets:

    • Birth and death register data, including cause of death data;
    • Settlement Database data; and
    • National Disease Registers (this project did not proceed).

A statistical study linking the 2006 5% SLCD and the Settlement Database was undertaken with results released in June 2010. See Appendix 1 for more details.

At this early stage of the 2011 CDE project, no data integration projects involving the 5% SLCD are planned.

Any linked datasets created by bringing the 5% SLCD data together with a non-ABS source will be retained within the ABS. Standard ABS confidentiality methods will apply and the linked datasets will be accessible through standard ABS secure data access arrangements. These arrangements ensure that no information likely to enable the identification of an individual will be released.

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