2901.0 - Census Dictionary, 2006 (Reissue)  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/08/2007  Reissue
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Contents >> Short Definitions and Classifications - 2006 >> Family/Household Reference Person Indicator (RPIP) - Characteristic 2006

Family/Household Reference Person Indicator

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Quality Statement


The Family/Household Reference Person Indicator (RPIP) identifies the household member used in Census coding as the starting point for identifying the relationships between usual residents of a household. Familial relationships are defined in terms of the relationship between the family reference person and all other family members. More Detailed Description


Applicable to: Person in family, group, lone person households

Reference person in a family household

    1 Reference person in primary family
    2 Reference person in second family
    3 Reference person in third family
Reference person in non-family household
    4 Reference person in non-family household
    5 Other household member
@ Not applicable
V Overseas visitor

Total number of categories: 7

More Detailed Description
Quality Statement - Family/Household Reference Person Indicator (RPIP)

There are many aspects which can affect the quality of Census data; the following information should be considered when viewing data on Family/Household Reference Person Indicator (RPIP).

Responses to the relationship question (Q5 on the household form) are the basis for determining household and family composition. These responses are asked in respect of Person 1 on the Census form. Person 1 is the "reference person" for 95.4% of family reference persons and 99.3% of non-family reference persons. In the remaining cases, a more appropriate person on the form is chosen during clerical coding. For example, an adult is chosen rather than a child, or in the event of multiple family households additional reference persons are chosen.

The ABS aims to produce high quality data from the Census. To achieve this, extensive effort is put into Census form design, collection procedures, and processing procedures.

There are four principal sources of error in Census data: respondent error, processing error, partial response and undercount. Quality management of the Census program aims to reduce error as much as possible, and to provide a measure of the remaining error to data users, to allow them to use the data in an informed way.

When completing their Census form, some people do not answer all the questions which apply to them. In these instances, a 'not stated' code is allocated during processing, with the exception of non-response to age, sex, marital status and place of usual residence. These variables are needed for population estimates, so they are imputed using other information on the Census form, as well as information from the previous Census.

The processing of information from Census forms is now mostly automated, using scanning, Intelligent Character Recognition and other automatic processes. Quality assurance procedures are used during Census processing to ensure processing errors are kept at an acceptable level. Sample checking is undertaken during coding operations, and corrections are made where necessary.

The Census form may be completed by one household member on behalf of others. Incorrect answers can be introduced to the Census form if the respondent does not understand the question or does not know the correct information about other household members. Many of these errors remain in the final data.

More detailed information on data quality is available in the 2006 Census Dictionary (cat. no. 2901.0), in the section titled Managing Census Quality.

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