INCREASED AGE CUT OFFS FOR SELECTED SURVEYS
In response to the growing user interest in the older population, ABS has been reviewing its selection practices for enumerating supplementary topics in its Monthly Population Survey. While there are no upper age limits for the core labour force topics, there are such limits for some supplementary topics. The review assessed the impact of removing these cut-offs, taking into account data quality, respondent load and costs. As a result of the review the age scope for Labour Force Experience, Labour Mobility, Persons Not in the Labour Force and Education and Work have been increased to include all people aged 15 years and over.
For most topics, the numbers of people in the older age groups are expected to be small and, given the high sampling errors associated with estimates for age groups over 70 years, such estimates would probably only be published at an aggregate level. However, consideration is being given to publishing information for 10 or 15 year age groupings for the older age groups (either 65-80 and then 80 and over, or if there is sufficient sample, 65-75 and then 75 and over). Even though more detailed data may not be published because of quality concerns, it could be made available on request to those who might find it still useful.
ABS recognises the increasing importance of issues around ageing and recognises the need to improve the availability and accessibility of reliable information about people in older age groups. We will continue to consider these issues as we further develop the ABS survey program and put in place strategies for disseminating survey results.