2900.0 - Census of Population and Housing: Understanding the Census and Census Data, Australia , 2016  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 08/11/2017  First Issue
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Proficiency in Spoken English (ENGP)

This variable classifies a persons self assessed proficiency in spoken English. It is applicable to those persons who provided a language other than English in the question on 'Language Spoken at Home' (LANP) or those who did not state a language.

How this variable is created

The responses to this question are captured automatically from mark box responses on the form so the risk of processing error is minimal. For Proficiency in Spoken English, respondents asked to only mark one response. In 0.6% of pre-processed data, respondents provided an incorrect number of responses. In these cases, responses were accepted in the order they appeared on the form and the extra responses were rejected. An image of this question is provided below.

Variable history

The question has been asked for all censuses since 1981. No changes were made for 2016.

Non-response rate

Item non-response rates are a measure of how many people did not respond to a particular question as a proportion of the total number of people the question was applicable to. In this instance the response is left as not stated.

The majority of item non-response is attributable to the people who did not respond to the Census at all. Refer to item non-response rates for more information. The second and smaller contributor to item non-response is when people return a Census form but may not answer a particular question(s). For more information, refer to Understanding Census data quality.

The non-response rate for this variable was 1.1% (1.3% in 2011).

Further information

A definition of Proficiency in Spoken English is available in the 2016 Census Dictionary (cat. no. 2901.0).
For more information related to Proficiency in Spoken English see data quality statement for Language Spoken at Home (LANP)

Household form question image

Question 17 as it appeared on the 2016 Census Household Paper Form:

Image: 2016 Household Paper Form - Question 17. How well does the person speak English?
A text only version of the online Census Household form paper is available from the Downloads tab.