Australian Bureau of Statistics
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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The classification criteria
17. Classification criteria are the principles by which classification categories are aggregated to form broader or higher level categories in a classification structure.
20. The ASCCEG is to be used when collecting, aggregating and disseminating data relating to the variable Ancestry. The ASCCEG is designed to be used in the classification of information relating to a number of topics such as ancestry, ethnicity, and cultural identity. Although these topics have elements of difference, it is considered that the fundamental concept common to them all, and thus underpinning the classification, is ethnicity. The term 'ethnicity' is used in the ASCCEG to describe a shared identity or similarity of a group of people on the basis of one or more factors, e.g. shared history, cultural traditions, religion or language. In this sense, the term 'ethnicity' can, of course, be applied to all members of the Australian population. 'Australian' or 'Aboriginal' are valid descriptors of ethnicity.
Residual categories and codes
27. For each narrow group of the classification structure, a four-digit code, consisting of the two digits of the narrow group followed by the digit '99', is reserved as a residual 'not elsewhere classified' (n.e.c.) category. Cultural and ethnic groups which are not separately identified in the classification structure are included in the residual (n.e.c.) category of the narrow group to which they relate. Residual categories are only identified in the classification structure if they are needed. The classification currently identifies 23 residual categories.
30. Supplementary codes are used to process inadequately described responses in statistical, administrative and service delivery collections. These codes are of three types:
31. It should be noted that supplementary codes are not part of the main classification structure. They exist for operational reasons only, and no data would be coded to them if sufficiently detailed responses were obtained in all instances. More details regarding the supplementary codes (e.g. 'not further defined' (n.f.d.), 'inadequately described' and 'not stated') used when coding ancestry, ethnicity or cultural identity data are included in the ASCCEG.
Scope of the variable
32. The variable Ancestry applies to all persons.
33. The ASCCEG can be used to classify a variety of data relating to ancestry, ethnicity and cultural identity.
34. The purpose of the ASCCEG is to code the extent to which people associate or identify with particular ancestral, ethnic and cultural groups. It should be noted that the classification is not intended to classify people, but rather all claims of association with an ancestral, ethnic or cultural group. Many people do not identify with a single ancestral, ethnic or cultural group and will give multiple responses to a question on ancestry, ethnicity or cultural identity. Often the responses will indicate an identification with Australia in a national or cultural sense, but will also acknowledge continuing ties with other ancestral, ethnic or cultural groups. Such responses include Irish Australian, Italian Australian, etc. These responses should be assigned codes for both categories they relate to. Sometimes a response will give the ethnicity and ancestry of both parents or all grandparents. If meaningful and useful data is to be collected, stored and disseminated, as many as possible of the cultural and ethnic groups nominated by a person on a statistical or administrative form should be coded. It is suggested that a minimum of two cultural and ethnic groups be coded if a multiple response is given. This will improve the accuracy and usefulness of data. The ABS has developed guidelines for the coding, storage and presentation of multiple responses to questions on ancestry, ethnicity or cultural identity data. These guidelines are included in the ASCCEG publication.
35. A coding index has been developed to assist in the implementation and use of the ASCCEG. It contains a comprehensive list of the most probable responses to questions relating to ancestry, ethnicity and cultural identity and their correct classification codes. Use of the coding index will enable responses to be coded accurately and quickly to the appropriate category of the classification.
This page last updated 28 March 2006
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