3228.0.55.001 - Population Estimates: Concepts, Sources and Methods, 2009  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 12/06/2009   
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8.3 Estimated resident population (ERP) by Indigenous status are compiled using Census, the Census Post Enumeration Survey (PES) and other demographic information. Starting with Census counts by place of usual residence, a number of steps are involved. These include:

  • imputation of Indigenous status for Census records with unknown Indigenous status as a result of either non-response to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin question in the Census, or unknown Indigenous status on Census records imputed by the ABS when a form could not be obtained from occupied dwellings identified in the field
  • an allowance for Census net undercount: in a complex exercise such as the Census, it is inevitable that some people will be missed and some will be included more than once. The PES, conducted shortly after Census Night, collects information about where people were on Census Night and their characteristics to estimate Census net undercount
  • an estimate of the number of Australian residents temporarily overseas on Census Night (RTOs)
  • backdating from the Census date to the ERP reference date of 30 June using data on births, deaths, overseas and interstate migration for the intervening period
  • minor demographic adjustments designed to address any anomalies in age and sex composition (see Appendix 1 - Demographic adjustment for more information).

Indigenous status

8.4 The Indigenous population of Australia comprises people who are of Aboriginal origin, Torres Strait Islander origin or both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin. The Commonwealth definition of an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person is:
  • a person of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent
  • who identifies as being of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin, and
  • who is accepted as such by the community with which the person associates.

8.5 The 2006 Census of Population and Housing (Household Form) asked the following question of each person:

Is the person of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin?
  • For persons of both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island origins, mark both 'yes' boxes.
      Yes, Aboriginal
      Yes, Torres Strait Islander

Census Post Enumeration Survey

8.6 The 2006 PES introduced several methodological changes including extending the scope of the survey to remote areas of Australia and discrete Indigenous communities. A new estimation method was also introduced. For more details on the PES, see:

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