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1289.0 - Standards for Statistics on Cultural and Language Diversity, 1999  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 22/11/1999   
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Contents >> Ancestry >> Collection methods

Standard question module

37. This question module is recommended for all household-based surveys and other statistical and administrative collections designed to collect data on Ancestry. When used in conjunction with Country of Birth and language variables, it provides detailed information about the ethnic composition of the Australian population.

38. The standard question module for obtaining detailed data for Ancestry is:
Q1. What is [your] [the person's] [(name)'s] Ancestry?
Provide up to two ancestries only.
Examples of 'Other - please specify' are: GREEK, VIETNAMESE, HMONG, DUTCH, KURDISH, MAORI, LEBANESE, AUSTRALIAN SOUTH SEA ISLANDER.
English
Irish
Italian
German
Chinese
Scottish
Australian
Other - please specify :. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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39. The list of ancestries provided with this question module has been included primarily on the basis of an assessment of their statistical significance in the Australian context. This list ensures compatibility across collections and is used to minimise coding costs. It will be reviewed periodically as different ancestries assume a greater or lesser significance in the Australian context.

40. The 'Other' category is included for those people who have an ancestry or ancestries not offered in the list as a response to the question. 'Please specify' is added to the 'Other' category and a space is provided for respondents to write in their ancestry response(s).

41. Each ancestry response will need to be matched to an entry in the Australian Standard Classification of Cultural and Ethnic Groups (ASCCEG) Second Edition, Coding Index (see Coding Index in Classification and Coding).

Alternative Question

42. If there is a need for detailed information but space constraints are an over-riding consideration, the tick boxes can be deleted and a space provided for all ancestry responses to be written in. If this is done, however, there will be significant additional coding costs since each response will need to be matched to an entry in the ASCCEG Coding Index (see Coding Index in Classification and Coding). This is only likely to be appropriate in small scale data collection activities and in cases where data entry of verbatim responses is an administrative requirement, or where optical character recognition data capture technologies are used, allowing automatic matching of response data with index entries. The question module would be as follows:
Q1. What is [your] [the person's] [(name)'s] Ancestry?
For example: English, Irish , Hmong, Kurdish, Italian, Greek, Maori, Vietnamese.)
(Provide more than one ancestry if necessary.)
Ancestry :. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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43. Since the above questions are subject to an ongoing program of testing in ABS collections and are subject to change, it is recommended that agencies wishing to collect Ancestry in their own data collection activities contact the ABS before implementing this standard. Phone the Standards Support HOTLINE at the Australian Bureau of Statistics on phone (02) 6252 5736 or e-mail social.classifications@abs.gov.au.


Standard input categories

44. The standard input categories for the Ancestry question module are the base-level units of the ASCCEG (see Classification and Coding) and are represented by their four-digit codes. For operational reasons, supplementary codes also exist to enable inadequately described responses to be processed within a collection and coded at the four-digit level.

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