2901.0 - Census Dictionary, 2006 (Reissue)  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 17/11/2006  Reissue
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Contents >> Short Definitions and Classifications - 2006 >> Family Blending (FBLF) - Characteristics 2006

Family Blending

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Quality Statement


This variable is new for the 2006 Census. It classifies families based on the parent-child relationships within the family. This variable is applicable to couple families. When coding families to the Family Blending classification, temporarily absent children are taken into account. More Detailed Description


Applicable to: Couple families with children

1. Couple family
2. Intact family with no other children present
3. Step family with no other children present
4. Blended family with no other children present
5. Intact family with other children present
6. Step family with other children present
7. Blended family with other children present
8. Other couple family with other children only
9. Not applicable

Total number of categories: 8

More Detailed Description

Quality Statement - Family Blending (FBLF)

There are many aspects which can affect the quality of Census data; the following information should be considered when viewing data on Family Blending (FBLF).

Family blending data is derived mainly from the Question 5 on the Census household form, which asks for each person’s relationship to Person 1 on the form. Reporting relationships in respect of Person 1 only, can make it difficult to establish the relationships which exist in a household, and even more so in those dwellings containing blended families. In some cases, additional information such as surname, usual residence and marital status is also used during data processing to help determine these relationships. In cases where some members of a household are away from home on Census Night, members of the family nucleus (parents or children) who were temporarily absent on Census Night (and identified as such in Question 53 on the Census Household form) are taken into account when deriving Family Blending (FBLF).

In some cases children are listed on the Census form as Person 2. However if both parents are usual residents, the response "Child of both Person 1 and Person 2" is not available in the relationship question (Q5) for Person 2. In these cases an attempt is made to establish whether the child was a step-child or child of both parents using information such as surname. Preliminary analysis of the data indicates that despite these attempts there may be a small proportion of children coded to "step-child" who may be a child of both parents. Conversely, there may be cases where the child of reference person (and a step-child of the partner) is incorrectly coded as a child of both parents.

For more information about quality issues relating to family data refer to FMCF (Family Composition).

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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