4720.0 - National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey: User Guide, 2014-15  
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POPULATION CHARACTERISTICS


Overview

The 2014–15 NATSISS includes information on the demographic and geographic characteristics of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. This chapter provides an overview of the characteristics of:


Person demographics

The survey collected basic demographic information from one usually resident household member aged 18 years or over (ARA: any responsible adult) for each person in a selected household. This information included:
  • age;
  • sex;
  • relationship in household;
  • whether anyone aged 15–24 years was a full-time student; and
  • Indigenous status.

A person was identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin if they were:
  • Aboriginal;
  • Torres Strait Islander; or
  • both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander.

In the 2014–15 NATSISS, only households with at least one Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person were regarded as in scope of the survey. More information on scope and coverage is provided in the Survey design chapter.

The demographic information collected from the ARA formed the basis for a number of person level characteristics, including:
  • social marital status;
  • relationship in household; and
  • family type.

Social marital status

Social marital status is the relationship status of an individual with reference to another person who is usually resident in the household. A marriage exists when two people live together as husband and wife, or partners, regardless of whether the marriage is formalised through registration. Social marital status was determined, for people aged 15 years and over, from the relationship in household information as follows:
  • married—living with another person in a couple relationship (includes de facto or registered marriages and same sex partnerships); or
  • not married—not living with another person in a couple relationship.

Relationship in household

Relationship in household describes the relationship of each person in a family or, where a person is not part of a family, their relationship to the ARA. The detailed output categories available are provided in the respective Data Item Lists, available via the Downloads tab of National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, 2014–15 (cat no. 4714.0) and Microdata: National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, 2014–15 (cat no. 4720.0.55.002).

Family type

Family type enables the differentiation of families based on the presence or absence of couple relationships, parent-child relationships, child dependency relationships, or other familial relationships. The 'family type' of a particular family is defined through assessment of certain relationships that exist between a family reference person and each other member of that family. Family type is allocated based on whether the types of relationships described below are present or not, in the following order of precedence:
  • couple relationship—a registered or de facto marriage;
  • parent-child relationship—a relationship between two persons usually resident in the same household. The child is attached to the parent through a natural, adoptive, step, foster or child dependency relationship (see below for more information);
  • child dependency relationship—all children under the age of 15 years (whether related or unrelated to the family reference person) and those natural, adopted, step or foster children who are full-time students aged 15-24 years;
  • other relationships—all people related by blood or by marriage who are not covered by the above described relationships.

The detailed output categories are provided in the Data Item Lists, available via the Downloads tab of the summary and microdata publications.

Household demographics

The demographic information collected from the ARA formed the basis for a number of household level characteristics, including:
  • Family composition of household;
  • Household type;
  • Type of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander household (previously) Household composition; and
  • person counts in household.

Family composition of household

The family composition of household was determined for all persons who usually lived in, and the relationships between the persons within, the household. These included:
  • couple family with dependent children only;
  • couple family with dependent children and other persons;
  • one parent family with dependent children only;
  • one parent family with dependent children and other persons;
  • couple only;
  • other one family households;
  • multiple family households with dependent children;
  • multiple family households with no dependent children;
  • lone person household; and
  • group household.

Household type

Households are allocated a household type based on the following:
  • the number of families identified in a household and whether unrelated household members are present in a family household; and
  • in a non-family household, whether the number of household members is greater than one.

The detailed output categories are provided in the Data Item Lists, available via the Downloads tab of the summary and microdata publications.

Type of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander household

This data item was derived from the Indigenous status of all usual residents in a household. The output categories are:
  • Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander members only in household; and
  • Non-Indigenous and Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander members in household.

Person counts in household

A number of demographic data items allow various counts of people to be derived within households. Generally, these data items are:
  • the number of people within a specific age group in a household; and
  • the number of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people within a specific age group in a household.

More detailed information on these items is provided in the Data Item Lists, available via the Downloads tab of the summary and microdata publications.

Other household information

The ARA, or another person nominated by them as a household spokesperson, answered additional questions on behalf of other household members, including financial stress, household income, rent/mortgage payments, tenure type, number of bedrooms, household facilities and maintenance. These topics are covered in the following chapters:

Comparison to the 2008 NATSISS

The data item 'Type of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander household' was labelled 'Household composition' in 2008. These data items remain comparable.

Household geography

Geographic characteristics are classified through a hierarchical system of geographical areas under the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS). Each geographical area consists of a number of interrelated structures. For the 2014–15 NATSISS, the location of the selected household was used to determine several geographic characteristics, including:
  • state or territory of usual residence—including section of state and capital city/balance of state;
  • remoteness area;
  • Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA);
  • Indigenous structure and;
  • custom geography.

State or territory of usual residence

States and territories are the largest units in the geographical classification. State/territory units are political entities with fixed boundaries. This survey recognised the following units:
  • New South Wales (NSW);
  • Victoria (Vic);
  • Queensland (QLD);
  • South Australia (SA);
  • Western Australia (WA);
  • Tasmania (Tas);
  • Northern Territory (NT); and
  • Australian Capital Territory (ACT).

Section of state

Section of state is based on the population count from the 2011 Census Collection District in which the household is located. The different sections are:
  • major urban—more than 100,000 population;
  • other urban—1,000 to 99,999 population;
  • bounded locality—200 to 999 population; and
  • rural balance—remainder of state/territory population.

Capital city/balance of state

Each of the states and territories may be classified into two parts, based on the household's location:
  • capital city; or
  • balance of state—elsewhere in the state.

The ACT is not divided into parts and is classified as 'capital city'.

Remoteness area

The 2014–15 NATSISS includes five classes within the remoteness area structure, which when aggregated, cover the whole of Australia. The levels of remoteness are:
  • major cities;
  • inner regional;
  • outer regional;
  • remote; and
  • very remote.

Depending on the available data, these levels may be further condensed to:
  • remote—includes remote and very remote areas; and
  • non-remote—includes major cities, inner and outer regional areas.

These levels are based on the Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia (ARIA), which measures the remoteness of a point based on the physical road distance to the nearest urban centre. More information on ARIA is available from the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS): Volume 5 - Remoteness Structure, July 2011 (cat no. 1270.0.55.005).

Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA)

From information collected in the Census of Population and Housing, the ABS has developed a suite of indexes to allow ranking of regions/areas. The indexes provide a method for determining the level of social and economic well-being in an area, with each one summarising a different aspect of the socio-economic conditions. The 2014–15 NATSISS includes four measures based on the 2011 Census:
  • Index of Relative Socio-Economic Disadvantage;
  • Index of Relative Socio-Economic Advantage and Disadvantage;
  • Index of Economic Resources; and
  • Index of Education and Occupation.

Each of these is calculated at the state and national level, with the index output as a score, and in deciles. For each index, every geographic area in Australia is given a SEIFA number which shows how relatively 'disadvantaged' that area is compared with other areas in Australia. The 2014–15 NATSISS provides each index using both SA1 and SA2s as a base area. For more details on SEIFA refer to Census of Population and Housing: Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA), Australia, 2011 (cat no. 2033.0.55.001).

Indigenous structure

The Indigenous Structure of the ASGS was designed for the purpose of disseminating Census data relevant to the distribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It should be noted that only the Torres Strait area within the Indigneous structure was used as part of the sample design and benchmarking of the 2014–15 NATSISS. See the Methodology chapter for further information. For more information on the Indigenous structure refer to Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS): Volume 2 - Indigenous Structure, July 2011 (cat no. 1270.5.55.002). The detailed output categories are provided in the Data Item List of the summary publication.

Custom geography

Several customised geography data items were derived using a concordance of SA1s. These data items are:
  • Primary Health Network Area; and
  • Indigenous Advancement Strategy (IAS) Region

Full details of data items available and the detailed output categories are provided in the Data Item Lists, available via the Downloads tab of the summary and microdata publications.

Comparison to the 2008 NATSISS

The Primary Health Network Area and Indigenous Advancement Strategy (IAS) Region data items are new in the 2014–15 NATSISS and are unable to be compared to 2008.

Main carer of selected children

The proxies of children aged 0–14 years were asked who the main carer was of that child, and what the relationship was between the child and the main carer. Response options included:
  • mother;
  • step-mother;
  • father;
  • step-father;
  • grandparent;
  • other relative;
  • other non-related individual.

Based on who the proxy indicated was the main carer, and the demographic information collected from the household ARA, the following data items have been derived for all children aged 0–14 years:
  • age of child's main carer;
  • sex of child's main carer; and
  • whether child's main carer is of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin.

Comparison to the 2008 NATSISS

The following information was collected in 2008, but was not collected in 2014–15:
  • Indigenous status (Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander or non-Indigenous) of child's main carer;
  • Main language spoken by child's main carer;
  • Whether child's main carer has a non-school qualification;
  • Highest year of school completed by child's main carer; and
  • Self assessed health status of child's main carer.