2940.0.55.002 - Information Paper: Measuring Overcount and Undercount in the 2016 Population Census, Jul 2016  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 01/07/2016  First Issue
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The PES questionnaire collects personal details (name, sex, date of birth, age, relationship in household, marital status, country of birth and Indigenous status) to facilitate matching of PES person records to Census person records, and to allow accurate overcount and undercount estimates to be generated for age and sex categories, and Indigenous status. For each person in the household, the PES also asks:

  • whether they were included on a Census form (and if so, where);
  • whether they could have been included on a Census form at other addresses (and if so, where); and
  • where they stayed on Census night.

The different addresses collected in the PES are used to search Census records to determine the number of times each PES respondent was included in the Census. Visitors to households included in the PES are also asked for their address of usual residence. In addition to questions relating to Census night, the PES collects a small amount of information on dwelling tenure and structure.


As in 2011, a specially designed questionnaire will be used in Discrete Communities. A number of questions in the private dwelling PES questionnaire are not considered applicable to people living in Discrete Communities and have been adapted to ensure that information is collected in the most culturally appropriate manner. For example, it is more common for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons in the community to have more than one name by which they may be known. This tailored questionnaire ensures that sufficient information is collected to effectively match persons, taking into account the potentially different nature of matching.

A community-level questionnaire will also be asked of the community contact or council officer of Discrete Communities. Information collected, such as whether any significant event (for example a sports carnival) may have occurred at the time of the Census, is expected to help with respondent recall and assist in the completion of the individual questionnaires.


Collected data will be converted into files containing dwelling-level information (address, number of people, response status, etc.), person-level information (name, age, sex, marital status, etc.), search addresses (where the person may have been included on a Census form), and interviewer comments (e.g. to assist in dwelling and person matching). The files then undergo basic data cleansing, amendments, derivations and quality assurance procedures.