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In addition to the specific health information collected, the 2012-13 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey (NATSIHS) and the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey (NATSINPAS) collected a range of descriptive demographic characteristics.
Information from all selected persons (0 years and over for NATSIHS, 2 years and over for NATSINPAS) was collected for the following characteristics:
Age as reported was recorded for all persons in the household in single years. Standard output categories differ according to the topic to which the data relates. Age in five or ten year groups is most commonly used in survey output. Other non-standard groupings are available on request.
Age in months is also available in the NATSIHS for selected persons aged less than 2 years. This item has been produced for use with breast feeding data.
Refers to whether the person is of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin, as identified by an adult spokesperson within each household, i.e. not necessarily self-identified. Status is classified as Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, and neither Aboriginal nor Torres Strait Islander.
Language mainly spoken at home
Obtained for all selected persons, as reported. Main language was first collected as broad categories of English, an Aboriginal Language, a Torres Strait Islander Language, and Other language. For non-English categories, more detailed information was requested regarding the specific language. Language was classified at the finest level of the Australian Standard Classification of Languages 2005-06 (cat no. 1267.0). The abbreviated classification used in most standard output is shown in Appendix 3: ABS Standard Classifications of this Users' Guide.
For children aged 5 years or younger, a category of ‘Child not yet speaking’ was available if the child was not yet speaking a recognisable language. This was classified to 0001 ‘Non-verbal, so described’. The other statuses included English, an Aboriginal language, a Torres Strait Islander language or other language.
Proficiency in spoken English
All selected persons who reported they mainly spoke a language other than English at home (with the below exceptions) were asked how well they spoke English. Responses were recorded as reported by respondents against the categories:
In output, persons who identified the main language spoken was English were assigned the category of ‘mainly speaks English (at home)’.
Children identified as not yet speaking or people for whom sign language or Auslan (Australian Sign Language) was their main language were also not asked the questions but for output were assigned the category of Not known/Does not speak.
Data items and related output categories for this topic will be available in Excel spreadsheet format from the Downloads page of this product.
Comparability with 2004-05 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey (NATSIHS)
Data for common items are considered comparable between the 2004-05 and 2012-13 surveys. However, the main language spoken at home was coded to the ASCL 1997 edition in 2004-05 and the ASCL 2005-06 edition in 2012-13. Furthermore, in 2004-05 main language spoken at home data were only collected for adults and remote areas had only the categories of English, An Aboriginal Language (not further defined), A Torres Strait Islander Language (not further defined) and Other Language collected.
Comparability with 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (NATSISS)
Data for common items are considered comparable between the 2008 NATSISS and 2012-13 NATSIHS, however, it should be noted that the language questions were only asked of those 3 years and over in the 2008 NATSISS, while 2012-13 NATSIHS collected data from respondents 0 years and over.
Comparability with 2011-12 Australian Health Survey (AHS)
Data for common items are considered comparable between the 2011-12 AHS and 2012-13 AATSIHS. Care should be taken to ensure comparable ages are used (e.g. NATSIHS is the only survey to obtain information on main language for 0-1 year olds). Care should also be taken when comparing social marital status as this was derived differently in the two surveys. In AHS, social marital status was derived based on selections from the registered marital status question. A respondent had to select either "Married" or "Defacto" in this question to be considered married in the social marital status item. In AATSIHS, residing with one's partner was sufficient to be considered married in the social marital status item (consistent with 2004-05 NATSIHS and 2008 NATSISS).
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