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Responses provided in statistical and administrative collections do not always precisely reflect classification categories. A coding index is therefore necessary to act as a link between responses and the classification, enabling responses to be assigned accurately and quickly to the appropriate category of the classification.
HOW THE INDEX WAS DEVELOPED
The coding index has been developed to assist in the implementation and use of the classification and should be used when coding administrative data and responses to questions relating to ancestry, ethnicity and cultural diversity. The coding index has been devised by reference to existing literature in the field; consultation with academics, experts, government and private organisations with ethnicity knowledge and expertise, and ethnic and community groups; and by analysis of existing ABS data. It contains a comprehensive list of the most probable responses to questions relating to ethnicity, cultural background and ancestry and their correct classification codes.
The coding index includes many cultural and ethnic groups that are not separately identified in the classification structure but which are included in the residual nec category of the narrow group to which they relate. In addition to its coding function, the index can therefore be used to clarify the nature, extent and varietal content of each classification category.
Many people identify with more than one cultural or ethnic group and will give multiple responses to a question on ancestry, ethnicity or cultural identity. Often a response indicates an identification with a country in a national or cultural sense and also acknowledges continuing ties with other ethnic or cultural groups. These responses should be assigned codes for both categories they relate to. Sometimes a response will give the ethnicity and ancestry of both parents or all grandparents. If meaningful and useful data is to be collected, stored and disseminated, as many as possible of the cultural and ethnic groups nominated by a person on a statistical or administrative form should be coded. It is suggested that a minimum of two cultural and ethnic groups be coded if a multiple response is given. This will improve the accuracy and usefulness of data.
When coding responses in statistical, administrative or service delivery collections, the following rules should be applied:
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