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 >> Count of Persons Temporarily Absent from Household (CPAD) - Characteristics

Count of Persons Temporarily Absent from Household

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Quality Statement


This variable counts the total number of people who were reported as temporarily absent from the household. Due to form limitations a maximum of three people can be reported and coded as temporarily absent. This count includes husbands/wives, de facto partners unrelated flatmates or co-tenants and children (i.e. dependent children under 15 years, dependent students (15-24) and non-dependent children).

Applicable to: Family and group households

0 No persons temporarily absent from household
1 One person temporarily absent from household
2 Two persons temporarily absent from household
3 Three persons temporarily absent from household
@ Not applicable

Total number of categories: 5

More Detailed Description

Quality Statement - Count of Persons Temporarily Absent from Household (CPAD)

There are many aspects which can affect the quality of Census data; the following information should be considered when viewing data on Count of Persons Temporarily Absent from Household (CPAD).

Count of Persons Temporarily Absent from Household (CPAD) is applicable to 63.6% of households. Of these, 7.6% reported persons temporarily absent from the dwelling on Census Night.

The data used to produce CPAD is captured automatically from check box responses of persons reported as temporarily absent in Q53 on the Census form. This data is subject to a family coding process so that only those persons who form a family nucleus (that is partners, children and grandchildren aged under 15 years), and unrelated persons living in group households are included. Family members who are not identified as members of the family nucleus are not included in CPAD.

Preliminary evaluation of the quality of Census data undertaken by the ABS suggests that around 35% of family members and over 40% of unrelated people who are temporarily absent from their usual address on Census Night are not included in the relevant section of the Census form (Q53). This is only partly explained by the reporting limitation of three persons per household. In addition, across 29,985 dwellings, a number of Boarders/Lodgers and Unrelated household members who were listed as temporarily absent on the Census form were erroneously excluded when HHCD was derived. If these persons had been included during processing, the number of dwellings categorised as Lone Person Households would decrease by 1.7% while the number of Group Households would increase by 12.0%. In addition, a number of grandchildren (less than 500 in total) identified as temporarily absent were excluded when counts of persons temporarily absent from dwellings were produced for South Australia, Tasmania and the ACT.

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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