2901.0 - Census Dictionary, 2006 (Reissue)  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 13/07/2007  Reissue
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Contents >> Short Definitions and Classifications - 2006 >> Number of Children Ever Born (TISP) - Characteristics 2006

Number of Children Ever Born

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Image of Question
Quality Statement


This variable counts the number of children ever born to women aged 15 years and over. It counts live births. The question on number of children ever born is asked in alternate Censuses and was previously asked in 1996. More Detailed Description

Image of Question

2006 Household Form - Question 32


Applicable to: Females aged 15 years and over

0. None
1. One
2. Two
3. Three
4. Four
5. Five
6. Six or more
& Not stated
@ Not applicable
V Overseas visitor

Total number of categories: 10

More Detailed Description

Quality Statement - Number of Children Ever Born (TISP)

There are many aspects which can affect the quality of Census data; the following information should be considered when viewing data on Number of Children Ever Born (TISP).

This data is automatically captured from written numeric responses (and check box responses for "None"). This process is subject to very low levels of recognition error. Any outlying values manually are checked to ensure that they match the actual response on the form as all numeric responses are accepted as reported. The data may then include a small proportion of persons with unusually large numbers of children. The data is also subject to normal sample checks to ensure an acceptable level of quality.

The non-response rate for 2006 was 6.9% compared with 6.3% in 1996, which was the last time this data was collected. Part of this non-response is attributable to 3.7% of applicable persons (i.e. females aged 15 years and over) who were in dwellings which were occupied on Census Night but did not return a completed form. Persons are imputed into these dwellings together with some demographic characteristics. However the values for Number of Children Ever Born (TISP) remain not stated.

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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