1304.5 - Stats Talk WA (Newsletter), Sept 2005  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 19/05/2006   
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ABS develops a new view of records across successive censuses

The Australian Census will be made more useful to future researchers with the recent ABS’ decision to establish a Statistical Longitudinal Census Data set based on a five per cent sample of the Census.

No names and addresses will be involved, continuing the ABS' long-standing policy of destroying names and addresses from Census forms after processing. The five per cent sample will be brought together from each successive Census, beginning in 2006, using statistical matching.

The decision follows a period of public consultation on an earlier proposal that was to include a longitudinal view of the full population. Recognising that there were some public concerns, the ABS will proceed with a modified proposal that will deliver many, although certainly not all, of the benefits of the original proposal.

The five per cent sample will still provide a rich data set for addressing issues affecting mainstream Australia. However the sample will make it difficult to understand issues affecting small areas and groups, for example environmentally related health issues.

Additional datasets may be used in conjunction with the five per cent sample. For example information from a disease register, where this is available within the ABS, might be used with the longitudinal information from the Census. The first longitudinal view of the five per cent sample containing information from successive censuses, will become available following Census 2011 processing.

Further information on this proposal can be obtained from the ABS web site www.abs.gov.au