2940.0 - Census of Population and Housing: Details of Overcount and Undercount, Australia, 2016 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/06/2017   
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WHAT IS NET UNDERCOUNT?

While every effort is made to eliminate these potential causes of error, some undercount and overcount will inevitably occur. Net undercount for any category of person is the difference between the PES population estimate (i.e. estimate of the number of people who should have been counted in the Census) and the actual Census count.

The Census count includes:

  • all responding persons who were counted on at least one Census form, with multiple counts for persons who were included on more than one form
  • persons who have been imputed into non-responding Census private dwellings during data processing
  • imputed records for persons who spent Census night at a non-private dwelling (e.g. a hotel or caravan park) but did not complete a Census form there.

Net undercount (or overcount) is therefore a measure of the combined outcome of Census enumeration and Census imputation. For more information about imputed persons for non-responding Census dwellings and the adjustments made for them in the PES estimates, see Components of Net Undercount on the Summary tab.

Net undercount is also presented in this publication as a rate. The rate is the net undercount (or overcount) as a percentage of the PES estimate for a given population (i.e. as a percentage of the number of people who should have been counted in the Census). The Census is typically associated with a net undercount; however, rates of net undercount or overcount can vary significantly for different population groups depending on factors such as sex, age, Indigenous status, and geographic location, and on whether these characteristics have changed or been misclassified between the Census and PES.