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A person’s ancestry, when used in conjunction with the person’s birthplace and whether the person’s parents were born in Australia or overseas, provides a good indication of the ethnic background of first and second generation Australians. It will be particularly useful to identify distinct ethnic or cultural groups within a country such as Maoris or Australian South Sea Islanders, and groups which are spread across countries such as Kurds or Indians. Country of Birth alone cannot identify these groups. This information is essential in developing policies which reflect the needs of our society and for the effective delivery of services to particular ethnic communities.
Respondents were asked to consider and mark the ancestries they most closely identified with, and to count their ancestry back as far as three generations. Respondents had the option of nominating several ancestries but only the first two answers are processed for output purposes.
The Australian Standard Classification of Cultural and Ethnic Groups (ASCCEG) is used to classify responses given to the Ancestry question. See also Birthplace, Indigenous Status (INGP), Language Spoken at Home (LANP), Proficiency in Spoken English (ENGP), Religious Affiliation (RELP), Year of Arrival in Australia (YARP).