1289.0 - Standards for Statistics on Cultural and Language Diversity, 1999  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 22/11/1999   
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Contents >> Ancestry >> Measurement Issues and Related Classifications

Measurement issues

52. The Ancestry question will record all claims of association with ancestries, ethnicities and cultures. As such, multiple responses are encouraged.

53. The purpose of the Australian Standard Classification of Cultural and Ethnic Groups (ASCCEG) is to code the extent to which people associate or identify with particular ethnic and cultural groups. It should therefore be noted that the classification is not intended to classify people, but rather all claims of association with an ethnic or cultural group, i.e. one ancestry response is not equal to one person. Many people do not relate to a single ethnic or cultural group and will give multiple responses to a question on ancestry, ethnicity or cultural identity. It is recommended that a minimum of two and a maximum of four ethnic and cultural groups nominated by a person on a statistical or administrative form be collected and coded (to capture responses such as 'Australian Italian', and for those people who wish to identify with, say, the ethnicities of each of their grandparents). The ABS has developed guidelines for the coding, storage and presentation of multiple responses to questions on ancestry, ethnicity or cultural identity data. These guidelines are included in the ASCCEG publication.

54. The normal constraints affecting statistical collections, such as problems with confidentiality or standard errors which may not permit the collection or output of data for some of the categories at the lower levels of the classification, apply to the Ancestry variable.

55. It should be noted that Indigenous Status is a separate variable measuring a specific element of ancestry, namely whether a person is of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin. However, it does not necessarily provide information on all elements of a person's ancestry.

Related classifications

56. The Ancestry question in the 1986 Census of Population and Housing was classified and coded using a non-standard classification and coding index.

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