2902.0 - Census Update (Newsletter), Dec 2002  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 03/01/2003   
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Census Corner

Census Evaluation - data quality assessments?

The Census Evaluation team is part of the Population Census Processing, Evaluation, and Administration Section. The team examines the final data from the census and provides data quality assessments for users. These assessments are released as Census Papers on the ABS web site; and are also used to assist in the development of the next census.

Another important function of the team is to review the underlying strategies that impact on census data, such as the special enumeration strategies used in the form design and field collection phase, and the editing and imputation strategies applied during processing.

The Census Evaluation team examines the data on a topic by topic basis, but not every data item collected in the census is covered by a Census Paper. The papers focus on new topics (e.g. Ancestry in the 2001 Census) and on topics that are of on-going interest to census data users (e.g. housing, income, industry, occupation). Other papers may be developed if a need is identified. Non-response Fact Sheets are also prepared and released by the team, listing non-response rates for all census data items by State, Territory and Australia.

In addition to the release of data quality information, the team researches options for different approaches in response to problems identified in the current census cycle. It provides recommendations based on testing and/or research of possible outcomes. This work assists in providing a sound basis for decisions made in relation to future census cycles and contributes to the continuous improvement of all aspects of the census program.

The Evaluation team performs a valuable linking function between the various areas of the Census Program which otherwise may not see the impact of their work in the overall context of final data quality. It provides a critical component in the quality assurance/quality improvement process which is vital in ensuring the integrity and accuracy of census data. This team also provides a link between the Census Program and a number of other subject matter areas in the ABS Population Surveys Group, through the work it undertakes on the array of topics covered in the Census.

Access the 1996 and 2001 Census Papers here