ABS Home

Census home > Data & analysis

ACLD Help & FAQs - Answers

Australians' journeys through life

Australian Census Longitudinal Dataset (ACLD)

Microdata: Australian Census Longitudinal Dataset

Method & Quality

Login to TableBuilder

Stories using data from the ACLD

Help & FAQs

  • ACLD Help & FAQs answers

Which TableBuilder login should I use?

The ABS supports two versions of TableBuilder; one for the 2006 and 2011 Census datasets and one for all other datasets (including the ACLD). Users can register and login from the Registration Centre.

Can I obtain individual tables from the ACLD without purchasing TableBuilder?

Customised tables are available for a fee. Check the Data items list for a full range of variables and contact the ABS National Information Referral Service for more information.

Is there any other form of access to the ACLD microdata than through TableBuilder?

The ABS plans to release the ACLD in the on-line Data Analyser product in mid 2014. Data Analyser will allow users more flexibility in defining data items. It also has a range of regression functions for multivariate analysis.

The ABS offers a statistical consultancy service for a fee for users interested in more complex analysis from the ACLD. Contact the ABS National Information Referral Service to find out more.

What type of information is available in the ACLD?

The ACLD is based on a sample of persons. It contains information directly collected about the person in the Census, such as age, sex, country of birth and labour force status. It also contains information about the person's dwelling, household and family (e.g. type of dwelling in which the person lives). In addition, information about the person's parents or spouse, has been attached to the person record. For example, if the person has a spouse in the household, information collected in the Census about their spouse has been associated with their own record (e.g. labour force status of spouse).

For linked records, there is an extensive set of data items from the 2006 Census and an equivalent set from the 2011 Census (e.g. Labour force status 2006, Labour force status 2011). For unlinked records there is the 2006 Census data item set only.

What is the difference between cross-sectional and longitudinal data?

Cross-sectional data is information collected about a population at a point in time. Some cross-sectional collections, like the Census, are repeated and can provide information on aggregate level change. Cross-sectional Census data can be used to answer questions like:

What proportion of employed people are in manufacturing?
How has the rate of volunteering changed between 2006 and 2011?

Longitudinal data refers to information at the individual level reported over time. Longitudinal (or panel) surveys typically collect information from the same sample of persons, households or other entities at regular time intervals. In the ACLD, records from a 5% sample of the 2006 Census were brought together with corresponding records from the 2011 Census using data linkage techniques without name and address. The longitudinal data in the ACLD can be used to measure transitions and answer questions like:

What proportion of people who were employed in manufacturing in 2006 were no longer working in that industry in 2011?
What proportion of people who were volunteers in 2006 were also volunteers in 2011?

What is the difference between weighted and unweighted counts?

Weighting is the process of applying factors to a sample to infer results and calculate estimates for the population. To do this, a 'weight' is allocated to each enumerated person. This is a value which indicates how many population units are represented by the sample unit. The purpose of weights is to allow the data user to estimate the number of people in the population with particular characteristics, based on the sample.
The weighted counts in the ACLD are designed to give estimates of the population who were in scope of the Census in both 2006 and 2011. This population differs from the total population in 2006 as it excludes people who subsequently died or moved overseas between 2006 and 2011. It differs from the total population in 2011 as it excludes people who were born or arrived from overseas between 2006 and 2011. Weights were based on the Estimated Resident Population. They were applied to linked records only. More details can be found in the Appendix in the Information Paper: Australian Census Longitudinal Dataset, Methodology and Quality Assessment (cat. no. 2080.5).

Unweighted counts can be used to investigate the underpinning sample counts for both linked and unlinked records and examine linkage rates for different population groups. They could also be used as the basis for alternative user-defined weighting strategies.

Why do results in my table not add up to the total?

In accordance with the Census and Statistics Act 1905, all the data in TableBuilder are subjected to a confidentiality process before release. The technique developed to avoid release of identifiable data in TableBuilder is the random adjustment of cell values known as perturbation. Users should be aware that the effect of perturbing data may result in components being larger than their totals as additivity has not been implemented for the ACLD. For more information see Interpreting Results from the TableBuilder User Manual.

What is the difference between Birthplace of Female/Male Parent in the person data item list and Country of Birth of Female/Male Parent in the Female (Male) Parent related data items?

Birthplace of Female parent is a question asked of all persons on the Census form: Was the person's mother born in Australia or overseas?There are just two response categories, 'Australia' or 'overseas', and the question applies to all person's irrespective of where their parent currently lives.
Country of Birth of Female parent has been derived from the response to the country of birth question on the Census form for the person in the household who was the female parent of the person selected in the ACLD. This data item therefore contains a range of countries of birth, not just Australia or overseas. It is only applicable to persons in the ACLD who were coded to a relationship in household of child under 15, dependent student or non-dependent child and for whom their parent was present in the dwelling on Census Night.