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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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples

People who identified themselves, or were identified by another household member, as being of Aboriginal origin, Torres Strait Islander origin, or both.

Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS)

The ASGS brings together within one framework all the regions on which the ABS publishes statistics. This is used by the ABS for collection and dissemination of geographic statistics and provides the context for understanding and interpreting the geographic context of statistics published by the ABS. It is a hierarchically structured classification split into two broad groups, ABS structures and Non-ABS structures, to satisfy different statistical purposes.

For more information, see the ABS publication Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS): Volume 1 – Main Structure and Greater Capital City Statistical Areas, July 2016 (cat. no. 1270.0.55.001).

Automated Data Linking (ADL)

ADL is an automated linking processes used to determine possible links between Census and PES data, before any clerical matching process has begun. It employs a probabilistic linking method that uses a range of personal and addresses characteristics to evaluate the likelihood that a PES and Census record pertain to the same individual. ADL is run via the Freely Extensible Biomedical Record Linking (FEBRL) software.

Benchmark Category

A benchmark category is a PES estimate (either dwelling or person based) of the Census count in a category (e.g. Country of birth) based upon the Census response to that category, regardless of the PES response. For example, if a Census record has Australia as the country of birth, but this is recorded as Born Overseas in the PES, the record will be in the Australia benchmark category.

Census Count

The Census counts people where they were located on Census night and this count of the population is referred to as the place of enumeration count. A count of the population based on their usual residence is also available. The Census count includes imputed persons for non-responding dwellings. However, some categories (such as Indigenous status and Country of birth) do not include any imputed persons, as Census assigns a not stated value to all the imputed person records.

Computer Assisted Interviewing (CAI)

CAI is a method of data collection whereby responses are recorded directly into an electronic questionnaire on a notebook computer.

Contact Sector

The Census contact sector comprises: persons in dwellings that were deemed occupied on Census night and from which a form was received before the commencement of PES enumeration; persons in occupied dwellings that were entirely missed by Census; and persons missed by Census because their dwellings were mistakenly deemed unoccupied on Census night.

Discrete Community

A Discrete Community is a geographic location bounded by physical or legal boundaries, which is inhabited or intended to be inhabited predominantly by Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander peoples, with housing or infrastructure that is managed on a community basis.


A dwelling is a building or structure in which people may live. Examples of dwellings include: houses, flats, caravans, tents, humpies and houseboats. Houses under construction, derelict houses, vacant tents, or unoccupied converted garages, are not counted as dwellings in the Census. Dwellings are categorised as either private or non-private.

Dwelling Link Rating (DLR)

The DLR is a numeric indicator of the strength of a PES-Census dwelling link, used to rank the links for preference in later processing. These are derived for PES dwellings primarily by combining the Person Link Rating (PLR) of individuals in the dwelling with the addition of some other criteria.

Estimated Resident Population (ERP)

ERP is the official measure of the population of Australia based on the concept of usual residence. It refers to all people, regardless of nationality, citizenship or legal status, who usually live in Australia, with the exception of foreign diplomatic personnel and their families. It includes usual residents who are overseas for less than 12 months over a 16-month period. It excludes overseas visitors who are in Australia for less than 12 months over a 16-month period.

Freely Extensible Biomedical Record Linking (FEBRL)

FEBRL is the software application used to run the Automated Data Linking (ADL) process in the 2011 and 2016 PES.

General Population Sample

The term General Population refers to the PES private dwelling sample, excluding those dwellings selected from the Discrete Community sample.

Greater Capital City/Rest of State/Territory

Greater Capital City Statistical Areas (GCCSA) are geographical areas built from Statistical Areas Level 4 (SA4), designed to represent the functional extent of each of the eight State and Territory capital cities.
There are 16 spatial GCCSA regions covering the whole of Australia without gaps or overlaps. These consist of 8 regions representing each of the Australian State and Territory capital cities, and 8 regions covering the rest of each State and the Northern Territory. The ACT only has one GCCSA region for the entire Territory. The category of Other Territories in GCCSA includes the Other Territories of Jervis Bay, Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Island and Norfolk Island.

For more information, see the ABS publication Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS): Volume 1 – Main Structure and Greater Capital City Statistical Areas, July 2016 (cat. no. 1270.0.55.001).

Hot-deck Imputation

Hot-deck imputation is the primary imputation method used for the 2016 Census. The method involves locating a donor record and copying the relevant responses to the record requiring imputation. The donor record will have similar characteristics and must also have the required variable(s) stated. In addition, the donor record will be located geographically as close as possible to the location of the record to be imputed.


Imputation is a statistical process for predicting values where no response was provided to a question and a response could not be derived. Census imputes persons into non-responding dwellings, using a hot-deck imputation method, and also imputes some missing values (e.g. Age and Sex) for responding persons who left these fields blank.

Indigenous Community Frame (ICF)

The ICF is a listing of all Discrete Communities from which the sample of communities for the 2016 PES was selected. The selection unit on the ICF is a community set, containing one main community and zero or more outstations If a community set is selected, a random selection of dwellings from the main community, and all the dwellings in some outstations, will be enumerated in the survey.

Late Return

A late return is a Census form which was returned after the start of PES enumeration.

Match and Search System (MSS)

The MSS is the main PES clerical review facility, which allows processors to search, view, compare, and record matches between PES and Census records.

Net Undercount

Net Undercount is the difference between the PES estimate of the number of people who should have been counted in the Census and the actual Census count (including persons imputed into non-responding dwellings). The estimated net undercount for a category of person is the net result of undercount, overcount, differences in classification between the PES and Census (e.g. Age, Sex, Indigenous status) and imputation error in the Census.

Non-contact Sector

The Census non-contact sector comprises: persons in dwellings that were deemed occupied on Census night, from which no Census form was received (imputed dwellings); persons in dwellings whose Census form was received after the commencement of PES enumeration (late returns); and persons with insufficient personal identifier information on their Census form.

Non-private Dwelling (NPD)

An NPD is an establishment which provides a communal type of accommodation, such as a hotel, motel, hospital or other institution. NPDs were not included in the 2016 PES sample.

Outstation (or homeland)

An Outstation is a discrete Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community that is administered by, or linked to, an organisation such as a resources agency or larger parent discrete Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community for the provision and maintenance of services.

Person Link Rating (PLR)

The PLR is a numeric indicator of the strength of a person link. This is generated through the Collect, Analyse, Reduce, De-duplicate and Systematise (CARDS) process and used to stratify ADL links by quality. It is used throughout matching processing and contributes to the DLR of the PES dwelling in which the person was enumerated.

PES Address

A PES Address is any address associated with a PES respondent; includes: the Enumeration address (the address at which the PES interview took place), and Search addresses (any other address at which the respondent might have been included on a Census form).

PES Population Estimate

The PES population estimate is an estimate (based on PES and Census data) of the number of people who should have been counted in the Census.

Private Dwelling

A private dwelling is a residential structure which is self-contained, owned or rented by the occupants, and intended solely for residential use. A private dwelling may be a flat, part of a house, or even a room, but can also be a house attached to, or rooms above, shops or offices.

Sampling error

Sampling error occurs because a sample, rather than the entire population, is surveyed. The standard error gives a measure of the likely difference resulting from not including all dwellings in the survey. There are about two chances in three that a sample estimate will differ by less than one standard error from the figure that would have been obtained if all dwellings had been included in the survey, and about nineteen chances in twenty that the difference will be less than two standard errors.

Search Address

A search address is an address (other than the PES enumeration address) where a person reported they were staying on Census night or where a person may have been included on a Census form (including non-reported addresses found by ADL). PES processing uses these addresses to locate a Census form in order to determine the number of times (if any) a person enumerated in the PES was included on a Census form.

Standard Error (SE)

The SE is a measure of the likely difference between the true value and the estimate.

Statistical Areas 1, 2, 3 & 4

Statistical areas are the geographic areas under the ASGS geographic classification used in the PES. Each area is built from aggregates of the lower area and cover Australia without gaps or overlap.

For more information, see the ABS publication Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS): Volume 1 – Main Structure and Greater Capital City Statistical Areas, July 2016 (cat. no. 1270.0.55.001).

Undercount Adjustment Factor

The undercount adjustment factor is the ratio of the PES population estimate to the Census count. This factor can be applied to the Census counts to indicate how many people should have been counted in the Census for that category.

Usual Residence

In the Census, the usual residence for a resident of Australia is defined as the place where they have lived, or where they intend to live, for 6 months or more, in the Census year.