2062.0 - Census Data Enhancement project: An update, 2011  
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OUTCOMES OF THE 2011 CENSUS DATA ENHANCEMENT PROJECT

The overarching objective of the Census Data Enhancement (CDE) project is to enhance the relevance and potential of ABS Census data and other official datasets. Integrating Census data with other datasets is an efficient and effective way of creating new data from already existing sources to address important questions about Australian society.

As previewed in the 2010 release of Census Data Enhancement Project: An Update, the ABS has produced a range of data integration outputs using Census and other data. An overview of each of these outputs is presented in this section. Further detail for each project can be found in the source publications listed on the Related Information tab


STATISTICAL INITIATIVES

Statistical outputs from the CDE project provide new insights into areas and groups of interest within Australian society, such as education, migrants and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. These initiatives contribute to a richer statistical view of Australian society and an improved evidence base for decision making. They make new data available to the community, researchers and policy makers, in a cost effective way, without increasing the collection of information.

The 2011 CDE project has demonstrated that data integration can deliver:

  • new data to address important areas of interest not able to be answered from existing sources; and
  • improved understanding and accuracy of available information by comparing data from different sources.
The main statistical outputs foreshadowed in 2010 were the compilation of improved life expectancy estimates for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, the first Australian Census Longitudinal Dataset (ACLD); and the linking of Census data (including longitudinal Census data) more generally with other data sources. These are described in the following sections.

1. Indigenous Mortality Project - Death registrations and 2011 Census

The aim of the Indigenous Mortality Project is to improve the accuracy of life expectancy estimates and other mortality data for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population. This project, used extensively by the Council of Australian Governments, contributes to high quality data to inform reporting on the Australian Government's overall aim of closing the life expectancy gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians.

Using the highest quality linkage methodology available, the ABS linked 2011 Census records to deaths which occurred in the year after the Census. This was done to accurately assess the consistency of Indigenous status across the two datasets and built on work undertaken following the 2006 Census. The results were used to compile and improve the accuracy of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander life tables and life expectancy estimates. More broadly the project provides strategies for improving Indigenous identification in administrative data.

Graph 1 shows estimates of Indigenous life expectancy at birth for men and women for the years 2005-07 and 2010-12. Using the 2012 method of estimation, life expectancy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men increased from 67.5 years in 2005-07 to 69.1 years in 2010-12, and for women from 73.1 years in 2005-07 to 73.7 years in 2010-12.


Graph 1 - LIFE EXPECTANCY AT BIRTH FOR ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER AUSTRALIANS(a)

Graph 1: Life expectancy increased for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women
(a) 2005-07 estimates revised using the 2010-12 method to enable effective comparisons over time
Source: Life Tables for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians

Further information and results can be found in Information Paper: Death Registrations to Census linkage project - Key findings for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, 2011-2012 (ABS cat. no. 3302.0.55.005)


2. Creation of the Australian Census Longitudinal Dataset

First released in 2013, the Australian Census Longitudinal Dataset (ACLD) is Australia's largest longitudinal dataset bringing together a 5% random sample of around one million records from the 2006 Census with records from the 2011 Census. The ACLD will provide insight into Australians' journeys through life as successive Censuses are added. The ACLD provides a unique opportunity for researchers and policy makers to examine pathways and transitions of population groups.

The Australian Government Department of Industry used the Australian Census Longitudinal Dataset to look at the possible impact of car manufacturing closures in Victoria and South Australia. To do this they examined the transitions of workers out of the automotive industry between 2006 and 2011 (shown in Graph 2).

Graph 2 shows the industry of employment in 2011, for people who were in the automotive industry in 2006. It shows that of these people, 35% still worked in the Automotive manufacturing industry, while a third were employed in other industries and 16% were unemployed or not in the labour force.


Graph 2 - INDUSTRY OF EMPLOYMENT IN 2011 FOR PEOPLE WHO WERE IN THE AUTOMOTIVE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY IN 2006

Graph 2: Most people who worked in automotive manufacturing in 2006 were still employed in automotive manufacturing in 2011

Source: The Australian Census Longitudinal Dataset

Further information can be found in Information Paper: Australian Census Longitudinal Dataset, Methodology and Quality Assessment (ABS cat. no. 2080.5).

The ACLD microdata product is available via the ABS website at Microdata: Australian Census Longitudinal Dataset (cat. no. 2080.0).


3. Bringing together the Australian Census Longitudinal Dataset with other datasets for statistical and research purposes

Combining the Australian Census Longitudinal Dataset (ACLD) with large administrative datasets has the potential to significantly enhance the statistical value of both datasets. To illustrate, a project linking the ACLD to the Australian Government's Settlement Database (SDB) is under consideration. This project would support longitudinal analysis of factors that impact migrants settling in Australia.

Consideration is also being given to linking the ACLD (and the 2011 Census as a whole) with Social Security and Related Information (SSRI) data to enable analysis of the characteristics and pathways of people in receipt of social security payments. The enhanced information would contribute to the evidence base for decision-making in this important social policy area.


4. Bringing together 2011 Census data with other datasets

One of the objectives of the 2011 CDE project is to use the linkage methodology developed in CDE quality studies (listed below) to inform a broader program of data integration between the Census and administrative datasets. This enables additional projects to be undertaken where there is both demand and statistical value.

4.1 Australian Census and Migrants Integrated Dataset

The Australian Census and Migrants Dataset (ACMID) aims to provide an evidence base to understand outcomes for migrants, such as the relationship between visa class (from the administrative data) and their post-arrival social and economic experiences (from Census data). The new enhanced dataset contributes to the evidence base of migrant data available in Australia and assists with development and evaluation of immigration policies and programs.

The ACMID combines administrative information from the Australian Government's Settlement Database (SDB) on visa class, application status and onshore/offshore processing with variables from the 2011 Census. The dataset was informed by the work done in the 2011 Migrants Quality Study (See Quality Studies below).

The ACMID provides a range of valuable insights on migrant outcomes that are not available in the administrative or Census datasets.

Graph 3 shows the personal weekly income of permanent migrants aged 15 and over by their visa class (skilled, family and humanitarian). Skilled migrants generally have a higher weekly incomes than those in the Family and Humanitarian streams. Nearly three quarters of Humanitarian stream migrants had incomes of less that $600 a week. Two fifths of Family stream migrants were in the lowest income group ($1 - $299) or had no income.


Graph 3 PERSONAL WEEKLY INCOME OF PERMANENT MIGRANTS BY VISA STREAM, 15 YEARS AND OVER - 2011

Graph 3: Skilled migrants have higher personal incomes than other visa streams

Source: Australian Census and Migrants Integrated Dataset

Further information and results can be found in Understanding Migrant Outcomes - Enhancing the Value of Census Data, 2011 (ABS cat. no. 3417.0).

The ACMID 2011 TableBuilder product is available via the ABS website at Microdata: Australian Census and Migrants Integrated Dataset, 2011 (ABS cat. no. 3417.0.55.001)


4.2 2011 Census and Vocational Education and Training in Schools dataset

The combination of Vocational Education and Training (VET) in Schools and Census data allows examination of the characteristics and post-school outcomes of students who undertake a course of study under the VET in Schools program. It provides insights into year 12 completion rates, engagement and employment outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and the employment outcomes of students in trade related fields of study. Importantly the analysis can be undertaken for small populations, small geographies and by fine qualification type and by fine level of industry of employment.

Graph 4 shows the proportion of students in Year 11 in 2006 who have a qualification or who are studying for a qualification in 2011. More VET in schools students had completed a non-school qualification (41%) by 2011, compared with students overall (just under one third). Around one quarter of VET in Schools students were studying for their first qualification in 2011.


Graph 4 PROPORTION OF STUDENTS(a) WITH A QUALIFICATION(b) OR STUDYING IN 2011

Graph 4: More than one in five 2006 VET in schools students had completed a Certificate 3 or 4
a) Year 11 students in 2006
b) Qualifications completed by 2011
Source: Outcomes from Vocational Education and Training in Schools, experimental estimates

Further information and results can be found in Outcomes from Vocational Education and Training in Schools, experimental estimates, Australia, 2006-2011 (ABS cat. no. 4260.0)


4.3 2011 Census and Tasmanian Government school enrolment records and NAPLAN data

This project enabled analysis into the socioeconomic context of student achievement in Tasmania, and the destination and outcomes of Tasmanian early school leavers and Year 12 graduates. Tasmanian Government school enrolment records, along with National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) data were linked to the 2011 Census to enhance the evidence base available to examine the socioeconomic context of student achievements, as well as the outcomes of young people after they leave school.

Further information and results can be found in Education outcomes, experimental estimates, Tasmania, 2006-2013 (ABS cat. no. 4261.6)

4.4 2011 Census and Australian Early Development Index dataset

This project links 2011 Census data, including family characteristics, with information on early childhood from the Australian Early Development Index to create a dataset to provide information for policy and program development in the area of early childhood education. This project is currently in progress.

4.5 Mental Health Services - Census Data Integration Project

This project was undertaken to inform the National Review of Mental Health Services and Programs. The Mental Health Services-Census Integrated Dataset 2011, integrates the 2011 Census with subsidised mental health-related items from the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) from 2011. This integrated dataset will contribute significantly to the understanding of the characteristics of people who were accessing these subsidised services. An example of the information that is able to be extracted is provided in Graph 5.

Graph 5 shows the proportion of people (aged from 15 to 64) who accessed subsidised mental health-related prescription medication in 2011. This population is shown by their highest level of educational attainment and type of drug accessed (antipsychotics, anxiolytics, hypnotics and sedatives, antidepressants, psychostimulants). Anitdepressants were the most commonly used medication across all levels of educational attainment. In 2011, 6.4% of Australians whose highest level of qualification was a Bachelor degree or higher, accessed a PBS subsidised mental health medication compared with 14.5% of those whose highest level of education was Year 11 or below.


Graph 5 PROPORTION OF AUSTRALIAN POPULATION (AGED 15-64) WHO ACCESSED PBS SUBSIDISED MENTAL HEALTH-RELATED PRESCRIPTION MEDICATION - 2011


Graph 5: Antidepressants were the most commonly used medication across all levels of educational attainment
Source: Characteristics of people using mental health services and prescription medication

Further information and results can be found in Characteristics of people using mental health services and prescription medication, 2011 (ABS cat. no. 4329.0)


5. Other projects

ABS is keen to pursue further opportunities for data linkage projects using the 2011 Census, including linking other datasets with the ACLD. For more information about linkage opportunities email the Director, Data Linkage Centre, Australian Bureau of Statistics at data.integration@abs.gov.au.

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QUALITY STUDIES

Census Data Enhancement (CDE) quality studies are undertaken to:
  • assess different linking strategies and test their quality; and
  • improve data integration processes for future projects.
CDE quality studies have compared linkage strategies that use a range of available variables to link datasets with those that use name and address. The studies have concluded that linking without using name and address generally gives good quality and highly representative datasets for analysis. They have also shown that some groups within the community are more difficult to link than others (for example, people who are highly mobile) pointing to the need for further research into linkage methodology.

The CDE quality studies form the foundation for the use of data integration to produce national statistics.

Four data integration quality studies were proposed in 2010. The outcomes of these are described below.

2011 Census to 2010 Census Dress Rehearsal

This quality study was undertaken to link data from the 2010 Census dress rehearsal to the 2011 Census to investigate the quality of different linkage strategies. The findings were used to revise and refine the linking strategy for the Australian Census Longitudinal Dataset (see 2. Creation of the Australian Census Longitudinal Dataset)

The 2011 Migrants Quality Study

The purpose of this quality study was to evaluate the dataset created by bringing together the Australian Government's Settlement Database (SDB) with the 2011 Census. The study focussed on assessing improvements to the linkage strategy, flowing from the corresponding 2006 feasibility study. The 2011 findings enabled an improved linkage methodology which was used to create the Australian Census and Migrants Integrated Dataset (see 4.1 Australian Census and Migrants Integrated Dataset). The report of this study can be found at Assessing the Quality of Linking Migrant Settlement Records to 2011 Census Data (ABS cat. no. 1351.0.55.043).

The Education Quality Study - linking school enrolment records to 2011 Census data

This quality study linked 2011 Census data with 2010 and 2011 government school enrolment records from Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory. The results indicated that linking government school enrolment records, and education records more generally, to the Census could be undertaken effectively and safely. It produced recommendations for ways of proceeding with education data linkage. The report of this study can be found at Research Paper: Assessing the Quality of Linking School Enrolment Records to 2011 Census Data (ABS cat. no. 1351.0.55.041).

2011 Census to a Western Australian Enhancement Mortality dataset

After discussions with stakeholders it was decided that this quality study would not be undertaken.