2940.0.55.001 - Information Paper: Measuring Net Undercount in the 2006 Population Census, 2007  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 07/05/2007   
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The Census Post Enumeration Survey (PES) is a household survey conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) three to four weeks after Census Night. The most recent Census was conducted on 8 August 2006. The PES provides a measure of net undercount in the Census, and is a key input into the production of the official Estimated Resident Population for Australia.

Approximately 40,000 private dwellings across Australia were selected in the 2006 PES sample. Remote areas and discrete Indigenous communities were included in the scope of the 2006 survey for the first time. Inclusion of these areas ensures the geographic scope of the PES is more complete than it has been in the past.

The ABS has extensive experience in the conduct of household surveys in discrete Indigenous communities. The ABS had not previously conducted a PES/Census match and search operation for people enumerated in these communities, so its experience of the issues involved was more limited. In order to enhance ABS knowledge and understanding in this area, the ABS engaged Professor Stephen Zubrick, Head of Population Sciences, Telethon Institute for Child Health Research to provide expert advice on the development and implementation of the PES Indigenous match and search procedures.

Professor Zubrick's review included a study of the relevant PES documentation, discussions with the PES project team, and a site visit to observe the match and search processing of the PES.

A report Telethon Institute report on the 2006 PES (PDF file 280 KB) was provided by Professor Zubrick at the completion of his review.

In his report, Professor Zubrick noted that he could not identify any processes that required modification, and that there was 'minimal to negligible threat to the parity between mainstream and Indigenous component PES processing'. He also suggested that an ABS publication on the PES would be valuable, especially if it contained details of the various components of the PES matching findings. The ABS is investigating the feasibility of including additional information on the PES match and search processes in a future publication.

For further information contact Merilyn Henden on (02) 6252 5489 or email: <merilyn.henden@abs.gov.au>.