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 >> Proficiency in Spoken English (ENGP) - Characteristics 2006

Proficiency in Spoken English

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Image of Question
Quality Statement


For each person who speaks a language other than English at home, this variable classifies their self-assessed proficiency in spoken English. More Detailed Description

Image of Question

2006 Household Form - Question 17


Applicable to: Persons who speak a language other than English or did not state a language

1. Very well
2. Well
3. Not well
4. Not at all
5. Not stated-both language (LANP) and proficiency (ENGP) not stated
& Not stated-language (LANP) stated, proficiency (ENGP) not stated
@ Not applicable
V Overseas visitor

Total number of categories: 8

More Detailed Description

Quality Statement - Spoken English (ENGP)

There are many aspects which can affect the quality of Census data; the following information should be considered when viewing data on proficiency in Spoken English (ENGP).

This data was captured automatically from check box responses on the form so the risk of processing error is minimal. Sample checks of the data are also undertaken to ensure an acceptable level of quality.

The non-response rate for 2006 was 1.8% compared with 2.0% for 2001. Unlike most other variables the rate is not affected by the occurrence of non-responding dwellings as Spoken English (ENGP) is only applicable for those persons who have already provided a language other than English in the question on 'Language Spoken at Home' (LANP) or have answered ENGP.

In a small proportion of cases (testing has indicated that this is around 1%), respondents provided more than the required number of responses (for ENGP, respondents are asked to only mark one response). In these cases responses are accepted in the order they appear on the form and the extra responses are rejected.

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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