2901.0 - Census Dictionary, 1996  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 03/07/1996   
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See Age (AGE), Qualifications, Type of Educational Institution Attending (TYPP).

Elderly People

Variables can be derived upon request, to provide characteristics of elderly persons.

See also Accommodation for the Aged or Retired (Self-Care), Age (AGEP), Dwelling, Relationship in Household (RLHP).

Electoral District

See Electoral Division.

Electoral Division

An electoral division is an area legally prescribed for the purpose of returning one member (or more in the case of the Tasmanian House of Assembly and the Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly) to the Federal, State or Territory Lower Houses of Parliament. Queensland has only one House of Parliament at the State level, with each member representing an electoral district. They are approximated by aggregating the data for collection districts (CDs) that lie wholly or partly within the electoral division.

Commonwealth Electoral Divisions (CEDs) have different boundaries to State Electoral Divisions (SEDs), except in Tasmania and the ACT where they are the same. There are 148 CEDs which cover all of Australia.

For the 1996 Census, State electoral divisions have not been provided for the Northern Territory. Because of difficulties in obtaining boundary information from the Western Australian Electoral Commission, data for electoral divisions in Western Australia are not included in SED. The boundaries as well as the associated census data can be provided as a consultancy.

For a list of CEDs and SEDs, see Statistical Geography - Volume 2: Information Paper - Census Geographic Areas, Australia (2905.0).


See Labour Force Status/Status in Employment (LFSP).

Employed Labour Force

See Labour Force Status/Status in Employment (LFSP).


An employee is a person who works for a public or private employer and receives remuneration in wages or salary, or is paid a retainer fee by his/her employer and works on a commission basis, or works for an employer for tips, piece-rates or payment in kind; or, is a person who operated his/her own incorporated enterprise with or without hiring employees.

In 1991 the term Wage or Salary Earner was used.

See also Labour Force Status/Status in Employment (LFSP).


An employer is a person who operates his/her own unincorporated economic enterprise or engages independently in trade, and hires one or more employees.

See Labour Force Status/Status in Employment (LFSP).


See Family Income (FINF), Hours Worked (HRSP), Household Income (HIND), Income, (INCP), Industry (INDP), Industry Sector (GNGP), Journey to Work, Labour Force Status/Status in Employment (LFSP), Method of Travel to Work (TPTP), Occupation (OCCP), Qualifications, Work Destination Zone (DZNP).

Employment Sector

See Industry Sector (GNGP).

Employment Status

See Labour Force Status/Status in Employment (LFSP).

English, Proficiency in

See Ethnicity, Language (LANP), Proficiency in English (ENGP).


When purchasing census data, clients should consider whether they would prefer the data by Place of Enumeration or Place of Usual Residence. For small areas (e.g. SLAs), data may differ significantly, depending on the basis on which the data are tabulated .

See also Client Services, Census Count - Place of Enumeration, Census Count - Place of Usual Residence, Post Enumeration Survey, Self-enumeration.

Enumeration District

See Collection District.


All stages of the Census are subject to stringent quality assurance procedures which result in data of high quality. However, in a census there are recognised sources of error. Although considerable effort is directed to procedures to ensure high level of accuracy, some errors survive in the final results. Potential sources of error in the Census are: undercounting, respondent error, processing error and introduced random error. Introduced random error is used to protect the confidentiality of individuals.

See also Introduced Random Error, Random Perturbation, Undercounting and/or Underenumeration.

Estimated Resident Population

The Estimated Resident Population (ERP) is the official ABS estimate of the Australian population. The ERP is based on results of the Population Census and is compiled as at 30 June of each census year and updated quarterly between censuses. These intercensal estimates of the resident population are revised each time a population census is taken.

In the compilation of the ERP, three important adjustments are made to the census count based on Place of Usual Residence.

The first is an adjustment for census underenumeration. The level of underenumeration is derived from the Post Enumeration Survey (PES) which is conducted soon after the Census, and from estimates based on demographic analysis.

The second adjustment is the inclusion of an estimated number of Australian residents who are temporarily overseas on census night and are therefore not covered by the Australian Census. The number of such people is estimated from statistics on overseas arrivals and departures.

The third adjustment occurs if the Census does not fall on 30 June. For example, the 1996 Census was held on 6 August and population estimates at 6 August had to be back-dated to 30 June. This was accomplished using data from births and deaths registrations, overseas arrivals and departures data and estimates of interstate migration for the period 1 July 6 August.

The ERP at census date at the national and State levels is updated quarterly by the use of demographic statistics (births, deaths, overseas and interstate migration). At the Statistical Local Area (SLA) level, reliable statistics on migration are not available and the ERP at this level is updated annually, taking into consideration indicators of population change. A statistical regression model is used to assist in the compilation of the ERP at the SLA level.

Estimates by age and sex are published annually at national, State and SLA level. Estimates by birthplace and marital status are also published annually at a national level, and estimates at the national and State levels, by sex, are published quarterly.

More information on the ERP can be found in the ABS publication Australian Demographic Statistics (Cat. no. 3101.0), produced quarterly, and Estimated Resident Population by Sex and Age: States and Territories of Australia (Cat. no. 3201.0), produced annually. ERPs for SLAs are published by State offices in various publications. These are listed in the most current ABS Catalogue of Publications and Products (Cat. no. 1101.0).

See also Census Count - Place of Enumeration, Census Count - Place of Usual Residence.

Ethnic Enumeration

With one in four Australians coming from a non-English speaking background, there is a need to ensure that assistance is available to people completing the census form, who have difficulties with the English language.

A strategy has been developed by the ABS to ensure that the best possible enumeration of ethnic groups is achieved. The communications aspect of this strategy include translation of brochures into community languages; information about the Census in community languages in the media; and the provision of information to migrant education units and community groups.

The Census operates a telephone interpreter service as part of the Census Hotline during collection, and also employs collectors with skills in languages other than English. Arrangements can also be made for an interpreter to assist if required.


A number of variables used in the 1996 Census may provide information about ethnic origin. These variables may be cross-classified by sex or other related variables.

See Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander Origin (ABLP), Birthplace, Language (LANP), Proficiency in English (ENGP), Religion (RELP), Year of Arrival in Australia (YARP).

External territories

See Other Territories.

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