In 2006, as part of the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Census Data Enhancement (CDE) project, the ABS conducted a Migrants Quality Study. The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility of linking the Department of Immigration and Citizenship’s Migrant Settlement Database (SDB) to the Statistical Longitudinal Census Dataset (SLCD), a 5% sample of the 2006 Census of Population and Housing, without the use of name and address as linking variables. The details of the process are set out in the ABS research paper, "Assessing the Quality of Linking Migrant Settlement Records to Census Data" (ABS cat. no. 1351.0.55.027, 2009).
The 2006 study linked the SDB to the 2006 Census and analysed the subsequent file. Analysis indicated that linking the SDB to the SLCD was feasible and could produce useful information that no other data source could provide. Issues were identified pertaining to the quality of linked data, and a recommendation made that they be thoroughly explained to ensure that the linked dataset was correctly understood, interpreted and appropriately used.
The 2011 Migrants Quality Study was conducted with the aim of creating and evaluating a linked SDB–2011 Census dataset, with a focus on assessing the modifications and improvements to the linking process arising from the 2006 Study.
This paper provides some background to the 2006 and 2011 Migrants Quality Studies, a brief description of the linking strategy and process, a discussion of the quality of the linking of the SDB to the 2011 Census, and introduces its potential as an analysis dataset.