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2901.0 - Census Dictionary, 2006 (Reissue)  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 17/11/2006  Reissue
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Contents >> Glossary >> Core Activity Need for Assistance (ASSNP)

Core Activity Need for Assistance (ASSNP)


The 2006 Census is the first Census to have the variable Core Activity Need for Assistance. The Core Activity Need for Assistance variable has been developed to measure the number of people with a profound or severe disability. As with the ABS Surveys of Disability, Ageing and Carers, the Census of Population and Housing defines the profound or severe disability population as:


'those people needing help or assistance in one or more of the three core activity areas of self-care, mobility and communication, because of a long-term health condition (lasting six months or more), a disability (lasting six months or more), or old age'.


While the concept being measured is the same in both the Surveys and the Census the output items differ to reflect the differences in the populations due to the different methodologies in the two collections.


To determine if a person's need for assistance in one or more of the three core activity areas is due to a long-term health condition, disability or old age, Question 23 on the household Census form asks, 'What are the reasons for the need for assistance or supervision...?'. Where the response to Question 23 is only one or more of the following answers they are coded to the category 'Does not have need for assistance with core activities'.

  • No need for help or supervision.
  • Short term health condition (lasting less than six months) - people with this response are coded to 'Does not have need for assistance with core activities' because the definition of Core Activity Need for Assistance only includes people where the need for assistance is a result of a long-term health condition i.e. lasting 6 months or more.
  • Difficulty with English language- people with this response are coded to 'Does not have need for assistance with core activities' because the need for assistance is not because of a long-term health condition.
  • Other cause- people with this response are coded to the category 'Does not have need for assistance with core activities' because it is necessary to exclude people who need assistance for a reason other than a long-term health condition.

In addition, if a person's only answer to Question 23 is Old or young age and the person's age is under 40, then they are also coded to 'Does not have need for assistance with core activities'. This is because children need assistance with these activities, but it is not due to a long-term health condition or disability unless the responses 'Long-term health condition (lasting six months or more)' or 'Disability (lasting six months or more)' are answered. It is envisaged that there would be very few responses to this category for people aged under 40, other than children, but any would be coded to 'Does not have need for assistance with core activities'.


People aged 40 years and over who only answer Old or young age are included in the category 'Has need for assistance with core activities' because testing has shown that from this age, some people who need assistance because of a long-term health condition or disability, may state that the need is because of ageing.


People who answer Long-term health condition (lasting six months or more) or Disability (lasting six months or more) to Question 23 are coded to the category 'Has need for assistance with core activities'.


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