Microdata: Australian Census and Migrants Integrated Dataset

This release relates to microdata from the Australian Census and Migrants Integrated Dataset

Introduction

The Australian Census and Migrants Integrated Dataset (ACMID) contains Australian Census of Population and Housing data linked to Permanent Migrant Settlement Data from the Department of Home Affairs. The Census is conducted every five years to measure the number of people and dwellings in Australia on Census Night. The Census also provides information on the key characteristics of people and dwellings for small geographic areas and small population groups. The 2016 ACMID relates to people who have migrated to Australia under a permanent Skill, Family, Humanitarian and Other Permanent stream visa between 1 January 2000 and 9 August 2016.

This product provides a range of information about the release of microdata from the ACMID in TableBuilder and DataLab. TableBuilder is an online tool for creating tables and graphs. The DataLab enables approved users to access microdata for in-depth analysis using a range of statistical software packages. The information provided includes details about how to use the microdata products, the data items, the definitions used, conditions of use and quality of the microdata.

For information on the previous release of microdata in TableBuilder from the 2011 ACMID see Microdata: Australian Census and Migrants Integrated Dataset, 2011. Information about the release of 2011 ACMID microdata in the DataLab has been included in this release. See the Data downloads section for the 2011 ACMID Data Item List and Test File.

Microdata are the most detailed information available from a Census, or administrative data collection process and are generally the responses to individual questions on questionnaires or forms. They also include derived data from answers to two or more questions and are released with the approval of the Australian Statistician.

Further information about these products, and other information to assist users in understanding and accessing microdata in general, is available from the Microdata Entry Page. Before applying for access to TableBuilder, users should read and familiarise themselves with the information contained in the TableBuilder User Guide (cat. no. 1406.0.55.005).

Applying for access

To apply for access to TableBuilder, register and apply in the Registration Centre.

To apply for access to the DataLab, see About the DataLab for information on which organisations may apply for access to detailed microdata and contact microdata.access@abs.gov.au with your name, organisation and microdata file you are interested in accessing.

Further information on access steps can be found in How to Apply for Microdata.

The ABS Universities Australia Agreement provides participating universities with access to a range of ABS products and services. This includes access to microdata. For further information, university clients should refer to the ABS/Universities Australia Agreement web page.

Support

For support in the use of this product, please contact us or email microdata.access@abs.gov.au.

Data available on request

Customised tables are available on a fee-for-service basis. For further information, contact us or email client.services@abs.gov.au for further information.

Privacy

The ABS Privacy Policy outlines how the ABS handles any personal information that you provide to us.

File structure

Overview

The 2016 Australian Census Migrants Integrated Dataset (ACMID)TableBuilder product is single-level file that counts persons and has data items as collected at the 2016 Census of Population and Housing.

The 2016 ACMID TableBuilder contains linked data from the 2016 Census of Population and Housing and from the Department of Social Services Permanent Migrant Database (PMD). Census data items include; age, sex, relationship in household, geographic area (place of usual residence, place of enumeration, place of work), country of birth, birthplace of male/female parent, Australian citizenship, proficiency in spoken English, religious affiliation, year of arrival, ancestry, language spoken at home, labour force status, level of education attainment, non-school qualifications, voluntary work etc.

The data items relating to a person's migration event include:

  • VISAP: Visa class of a person's entry into Australia
  • VLOCP: The location of where a person's visa was granted i.e. onshore or offshore
  • VPAFP : A person's applicant status i.e. main applicant or secondary
  • CPLP: Citizenship country

The data items included in 2016 ACMID 2016 TableBuilder are grouped under broad headings and subheadings. A complete data item list can be accessed from the Data downloads section

Example file structure

Multi-response fields

Only one Census data item, Ancestry, allowed respondents to provide one or two responses. Each response category for a 'multi-response question' (or data item) is treated as a separate data item.

To analyse ancestry, both ancestry variables (ANC1P and ANC2P) must be used. The Ancestry variable allows respondents to report up to two ancestries on their Census form. Respondents do not have the option of ranking their answers to the ancestry question, so where a respondent reports two ancestries, those two ancestries have equal standing. The basis for allocating ancestries to the variables ANC1P and ANC2P is administrative only and is determined by the order in which they are processed. The two ancestry variables (ANC1P and ANC2P) are combined into one variable Ancestry Multi Response (ANCP)

An example of differences in counts of responses for ANCP 1 and ANCP 2 can be found in section Using the Dataset in TableBuilder.

It should be noted that the sum of individual multi-response categories can be greater than the population or number of people applicable to the particular data item as respondents are able to select more than one response.

Not applicable categories

Most data items included in the microdata include a 'Not applicable' category. The classification value of the 'Not applicable' category, where relevant, are shown in the data item lists in the Data downloads section.

Using the Dataset in TableBuilder

TableBuilder user guide

The TableBuilder User Guide (cat. no. 1406.0.55.005) is a comprehensive reference guide for the web interface of TableBuilder. It includes information on building and working with tables, customising data, understanding the results, data visualisation options and confidentiality processes.

Information relating to the linking methodology, scope, coverage, data collection, measures of error and interpretation of results are explained in the Explanatory Notes section.

Using the data

Continuous data items

The 2016 Australian Census Migrants Integrated Dataset (ACMID) contains several continuous data items. The calculation of sums, medians and means are only possible for continuous data items HRSP (Hours worked), MRED Mortgage repayments (monthly), and RNTD (Rent payments).

For information regarding the calculation of 'Sums', 'Median', 'Mean' and Ranges see the Summation options, Ranges and Quantiles section.

Multi response data items

Data items produced from a survey or Census that allow a respondent to fall into multiple categories are referred to as multiple response data items. For example, the 2016 Australian Census Migrants Integrated Dataset (ACMID) contains the Ancestry variable that allows respondents to report up to two ancestries on their Census form. Respondents do not have the option of ranking their answers to the ancestry question, so where a respondent reports two ancestries, those two ancestries have equal standing. The basis for allocating ancestries to the variables ANC1P and ANC2P is administrative only and is based on the order in which they are processed. The two ancestry variables (ANC1P and ANC2P) are combined into one variable Ancestry Multi Response (ANCP)

Example of differences in counts of responses for ANCP 1 and ANCP 2 are shown below.

Example

Confidentiality features in TableBuilder

In accordance with the Census and Statistics Act 1905, all the data in TableBuilder are subjected to a confidentiality process before release. This confidentiality process is undertaken to avoid releasing information that may allow the identification of particular individuals, families, households, dwellings or businesses.

Processes used in TableBuilder to confidentialise records include the following:

  • perturbation of data
  • table suppression.

Perturbation of data

To minimise the risk of identifying individuals in aggregate statistics, a technique is used to randomly adjust cell values. This technique is called perturbation. Perturbation involves small random adjustments of the statistics and is considered the most satisfactory technique for avoiding the release of identifiable statistics while maximising the range of information that can be released. These adjustments have a negligible impact on the underlying pattern of the statistics.

The introduction of these random adjustments result in tables not adding up. While some datasets apply a technique called additivity to give internally consistent results, additivity has not been implemented on the 2016 ACMID. As a result, randomly adjusted individual cells will be consistent across tables, but the totals in any table will not be the sum of the individual cell values. The size of the difference between summed cells and the relevant total will generally be very small, as demonstrated below.

Example

INFO: Cells in this table have been randomly adjusted to avoid the release of confidential data. Discrepancies may occur between sums of the component items and tools

(Sum of cells = 1,036,565.6 + 1,129,442.8 = 2,166,008.4. A difference of 7.9 relative to displayed total)

Table suppression

Some tables generated within TableBuilder may contain a substantial proportion of very low counts within cells (excluding cells that have counts of zero). When this occurs, all values within the table are suppressed in order to preserve confidentiality. The following error message displayed at the bottom of the table indicates when table suppression has occurred.

ERROR message

Data items

TableBuilder data

A complete list of data items included on the ACMID file is provided in an Excel spreadsheet that can be accessed from the Data downloads section.

The 2016 Australian Census Migrants Integrated Dataset (ACMID)TableBuilder contains approximately 220 data items. Topics include general demographic and geography characteristics; employment, income and unpaid work; education and qualifications; cultural and language diversity, as well as migration characteristics.

All data items are created at person level. This includes data items relating to the dwelling, family and household of the person linked in the dataset. For ease of use, these data items have been divided into Person, Dwelling, Household, Family and Spouse Related groupings.

The Data Item List spreadsheet contains:

  • Classifications by Topic
  • Person Characteristics
  • Permanent Visa Characteristics
  • Culture and Language Diversity
  • Education and Qualifications
  • Employment and Income
  • Voluntary and Unpaid Work
  • Address and Internal Migration
  • Selected Dwelling Characteristics
  • Selected Family Characteristics
  • Selected Household Characteristics
  • Spouse or Partner Characteristics
  • Geography
  • Socio-Economic Indexes For Areas (SEIFA)

The following geographies are available:

  • Main Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) - Greater Capital City Statistical Areas (Usual Residence, Place of Enumeration and Place of Work)
  • Main Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) - Urban Centre and Localities, Sections of State (Usual Residence and Place of Enumeration)
  • Local Government Areas (2016 Boundaries) (Usual Residence and Place of Enumeration)
  • Significant Urban Areas (Usual Residence and Place of Enumeration)
  • Remoteness Areas (Usual Residence and Place of Enumeration)
  • Postal Areas (Usual Residence and Place of Enumeration)
  • Commonwealth Electoral Divisions (Usual Residence and Place of Enumeration)
  • State Electoral Divisions (Usual Residence and Place of Enumeration)
  • Main Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) Place of Usual Residence One and Five Years Ago
  • Greater Capital City Statistical Areas Place of Usual Residence One and Five Years Ago
  • Local Government Areas of Usual Residence One and Five Years Ago (2016 Boundaries).

Links have been embedded into each of the worksheets allowing users quick and easy access to detailed information about specific data items and classifications.

Users intending to purchase the TableBuilder should ensure that the data they require, and the level of detail they need, are available in this product prior to purchase.

Using the Dataset in DataLab

The DataLab is an interactive data analysis solution available for users to run advanced statistical analyses, for example, multiple regressions and structural equation modelling. The DataLab environment contains up-to-date versions of SPSS, Stata, SAS and R analytical languages. Controls in the DataLab have been put in place to protect the identification of individuals and organisations. These controls include environmental protections, data de-identification and confidentialisation, access safe guards and output clearance. All output from DataLab sessions is cleared by an ABS officer before it is released.

About the DataLab environment

The DataLab allows interactive (real time) access to microdata files. Detailed Microdata are de-identified and confidentialised appropriately within the context of the other security features of the DataLab. The security features allow authorised users access to more complete and detailed data than would be available on a Confidentialised Unit Record File (CURF). Sophisticated analysis can be conducted with Detailed Microdata files. All unit record data remains in the DataLab environment. All outputs are vetted by the ABS before being provided to the researcher. The DataLab can be accessed on-site at ABS offices or as part of the virtual DataLab program. For more details, refer to the About the DataLab page on the ABS website.

For more general information about the DataLab, refer to the Microdata Entry Page.

Reminder: Data produced using the Detailed Microdata files contained in the DataLab will not necessarily match published data or data obtained through the TableBuilder product, both of which are perturbed prior to release to ensure confidentiality is maintained. Due to the procedures used for confidentialising the data produced via the DataLab, perturbation is not required.

Access to detailed microdata

To apply for access to the microdata product in the DataLab, please contact Microdata Access Strategies via microdata.access@abs.gov.au.
To access the microdata via the ABS DataLab, please register or log in, via the Microdata Entry Page. Please familiarise yourself with the Responsible Use of ABS Microdata, User Guide (cat. no. 1406.0.55.003), if you intend to access microdata.

Datalab test file

A Test File has been created for each of the issues (2011 and 2016) to enable researchers and analysts to become more familiar with the data structure and prepare code and programs prior to applying for, or commencing, a DataLab session. This aims to maximise the value of sessions by saving users time and resources once they enter the DataLab environment.

The Test Files do not contain real data, and cannot be used for analysis. It mimics the structure of the microdata from the Collection as it has the same data items and allowed values. All data on the file is false, created through a randomisation process. Proportions of values within data items in the Test File will be similar to those in the real data, however, relationships between data items will not be intentionally maintained. It is extremely unlikely that a record in the Test File would match with a genuine record in the real data.

The Test Files are available as a free download through the Data downloads section. For further information users should email microdata.access@abs.gov.au or telephone (02) 6252 7714.

Conditions of use

User responsibilities

The Census and Statistics Act 1905 includes a legislative guarantee to respondents that their confidentiality will be protected. This is fundamental to the trust the Australian public has in the ABS, and that trust is in turn fundamental to the excellent quality of ABS information. Without that trust, survey respondents may be less forthcoming or truthful in answering our questionnaires. For more information, see 'Avoiding inadvertent disclosure' and 'Microdata' on our web page How the ABS keeps your information confidential.

The release of microdata must satisfy the ABS legislative obligation to release information in a manner that is not likely to enable the identification of a particular person or organisation. Therefore, in accordance with the Census and Statistics Act, a confidentiality process is applied to microdata to avoid releasing information that may lead to the identification of individuals, families, households, dwellings or businesses.

Prior to being granted access to TableBuilder users must agree to the following ABS Terms and Conditions of TableBuilder Access.

Prior to using the DataLab users must agree to and sign an Undertaking and a Declaration of Compliance. For more information on the DataLab, please refer to the About the DataLab page on the ABS Website.

Conditions of sale

All ABS products and services are provided subject to the ABS Conditions of Sale. Any queries relating to these Conditions of Sale should be emailed to intermediary.management@abs.gov.au.

Price

Microdata access is priced according to the ABS Pricing Policy and Commonwealth Cost Recovery Guidelines. For details refer to ABS Pricing Policy on the ABS website. For microdata prices refer to the Microdata prices web page.

Australian universities

The ABS/Universities Australia Agreement provides participating universities with access to a range of ABS products and services. This includes access to microdata. For further information, university clients should refer to the ABS/Universities Australia Agreement web page.

Citations

Information or data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics must be acknowledged responsibly whenever it is used. Citing, or referencing is important for several reasons, including acknowledging that one has used the ideas, words or data of others. Accurately citing sources used also allows others to find and use the original information. For information on how to cite ABS data refer to Help: How to cite ABS Sources.

Further information

The Microdata Entry Page contains links to microdata related information to assist users in understanding and accessing microdata. For further information users should email microdata.access@abs.gov.au or telephone (02) 6252 7714.

Privacy

The ABS Privacy Policy outlines how the ABS handles any personal information that you provide to us.

Data downloads

Data files

Previous releases

 TableBuilder data seriesMicrodataDownloadDataLab
Australian Census and Migrants, 2011TableBuilder Detailed Microdata

History of changes

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20/12/2019 

The DataLab product has been released. The 'Introduction' section has been updated to reflect this change. The 'Using the DataLab' and 'Conditions of Use' sections have been created to provide information about the DataLab. The DataLab data item lists and DataLab test files for the 2011 and 2016 Australian Census and Migrants microdata have been added to the Data downloads section.

Related information

Explanatory notes

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Introduction

1 The statistics in this publication were compiled from the 2016 Australian Migrants and Census Integrated Dataset (ACMID).

2 The statistics in this publication relate to people who have migrated to Australia under a permanent Skill, Family, Humanitarian or Other Permanent visa stream and arrived in Australia between 1 January 2000 and 9 August 2016 (see Note 8). In this publication, this population is referred to as Permanent Migrants.

3 The 2016 Australian Migrants and Census Integrated Dataset (ACMID) Project linked the 2016 Census of Population and Housing dataset with Department of Social Services (DSS) Permanent Migrant Data. For more information on the 2016 ACMID Project see the Public Register of Data Integration Projects on the National Statistical Service website.

Data sources

Permanent Migrant Data

4 The Permanent Migrant Data (PMD) is administrative data pertaining to permanent settlers in Australia from various departmental systems and a number of external sources, including the Department of Home Affairs (Home Affairs) and Department of Human Services (Medicare Australia). The Department of Social Services (DSS) is the custodian of the data. The data provides information for the evaluation and planning of settlement services within DSS and for other government and community agencies involved in the settlement of migrants.

2016 Census of Population and Housing

5 For information about the 2016 Census and collection methodology please refer to the information provided on the ABS website (www.abs.gov.au) at Understanding Census Data. Information about the data quality of the Census is available on the ABS website under Census Data Quality.

Scope

6 The scope of the 2016 Australian Migrants and Census Integrated Dataset (ACMID) is restricted to people who responded to the 9 August 2016 Census of Population and Housing and who had a permanent migrant settlement record with a date of arrival between 1 January 2000 and 9 August 2016 (inclusive).

7 The 2016 ACMID excludes:

  • Persons whose Census record indicated that they were an overseas visitor
  • Persons on a Temporary or Bridging visa

8 The date of arrival on which the scope is based reflects an individual's latest arrival pertaining to their latest permanent visa. For an offshore applicant, the arrival date is when the applicant arrives in Australia on that permanent visa. However, for a person who applies onshore for a permanent visa, the date of arrival listed is the date of their last entry into Australia.

Data integration

9 Statistical data integration involves combining information from different data sources such as administrative, survey and/or Census to provide new datasets for statistical and research purposes. 

10 Data linking is a key part of statistical data integration and involves combining records from different source datasets using variables that are shared between the sources. Data linkage is performed on unit records that represent individual persons. 

Linkage between the Permanent Migrant Data and the 2016 Census 

11 The 2016 Permanent Migrant Data records were linked to the 2016 Census of Population and Housing data using a combination of deterministic and probabilistic linkage methodologies. 

12 Deterministic data linkage, also known as rule-based linkage, involves assigning record pairs across two datasets that match exactly or closely on common variables. This type of linkage is most applicable where the records from different sources consistently report sufficient information to efficiently identify links. It is less applicable in instances where there are issues with data quality or where there are limited characteristics. The deterministic linkage method used in this project is considered a silver standard linkage because encoded name and address information was used in this phase of the linkage. 

13 Probabilistic linking allows links to be assigned in spite of missing or inconsistent information, providing there is enough agreement on other variables to offset any disagreement. In probabilistic data linkage, records from two datasets are compared and brought together using several variables common to each dataset (Fellegi & Sunter, 1969). 

14 A key feature of the methodology is the ability to handle a variety of linking variables and record comparison methods to produce a single numerical measure of how well two particular records match, referred to as the 'linkage weight'. This allows ranking of all possible links and optimal assignment of the link or non-link status (Solon and Bishop, 2009).” This probabilistic linkage method used in this project is considered a silver standard linkage because it also used encoded names and address, date of birth, country of birth, year of arrival and codes representing small geographic areas. Further information about name and address encoding can be found in Information paper: Name encoding method for Census 2016.

Linkage results

15 At the completion of the linkage process 1,924,551 (88%) out of 2,166,014 records from the Permanent Migrant Data were linked to the 2016 Census data. The overall linkage accuracy (precision) for this project was estimated to be around 99%. Of the final 1,924,551 linked records, 549,361 (28%) records linked using the deterministic linkage method and 1,375,190 records (71%) were linked using the probabilistic method.

16 While the linkage is of high quality, there is a small chance of linkage error: false links and missed links. False links are influenced by the similarity of linking information in records that actually represent different individuals. This may be due to random chance but is primarily driven by low-quality information in linking variable: the less information available to discriminate two individuals, the more likely they will match by chance. Missed links are primarily influenced by the absence of an individual from Census and a lack of sufficient quality in linking variables. 

Estimation method

Calibration

17 The estimates in this publication are obtained by assigning a "weight" to each linked record. The weight is a value which indicates how many Permanent Migrant Dataset records are represented by the linked record. Weights aim to adjust for the fact that the linked Permanent Migrant Dataset records may not be representative of all the Permanent Migrant Data records. The weights on the Australian Census and Migrants Integrated Dataset, 2016 (ACMID 2016) range from 1.0 to 3.2.

18 A person level file containing 2,167,501 records which consisted of information about a permanent migrant’s basic demographics (age, sex marital status etc.), migration characteristics (visa subclass, applicant status, location of visa grant, etc.) and a history of address changes was used in a two-step calibration process. 

19 The first step of the calibration process adjusted for non-response. The methodology adopted was developed to adjust for non-response in sample surveys. Concepts of non-response and non-links differ in that the former is a result of an action by a person selected in a sample, and the latter is the failure to link a record likely as a result of the quality of its linking variables. However, both situations may result in under/over representation, and as such the methodology developed to adjust for non-response is suitable to apply to adjust for non-links. Like its 2011 counterpart, ACMID 2016 is unique in that many characteristics of the non-linked records are known, and these characteristics can therefore be used as inputs into an adjustment for unlinked records. 

20 The propensity of a Permanent Migrant Data record to be linked to a Census record was modelled using a logistic regression, which outputs the probability of linking for each record based on that record’s characteristics. Each record was then assigned an initial weight given by the inverse of this probability. 

21 The second step of the calibration process uses the weights derived from the first step as an input into the calibration to the known Permanent Migrant Dataset subpopulation totals such as visa group, location of visa grant, applicant status and state/ territory of residence. Calibration was then conducted to the following benchmark totals from the Permanent Migrant Data file: 

  • Visa Stream by Location by Principal Flag
  • Visa Sub Group
  • Refugee Status (visa subclass 200) by Location of visa grant
  • Country of Birth (Major group - 1 digit level)
  • Country of Birth (Top 15 countries - 4 digit level)
  • Arrival Year
  • State by Visa Stream (Skill, Family, Humanitarian)
  • Sex By Age group (10 year level)

22 The two-step calibration process then weighted the original 1,924,551 linked records up to 2,166,014 in scope records from the Permanent Migrant Data population.

Estimation

23 Estimates in this publication are obtained by summing the weights of persons with the characteristic of interest. Cells in this publication have been randomly adjusted to avoid the release of confidential data. Discrepancies may occur between sums of the component items and totals. 

Reliability of estimates

24 Error in estimates produced using the 2016 Australian Migrants and Census Integrated Dataset may occur due to false links and the non-random distribution of unlinked records.

False links

25 The calibration process does not mitigate against the error introduced by false links or error introduced in the statistical linking process. Due to the quality issues mentioned above, estimates should generally be treated with caution.

Unlinked records

26 Error introduced by under/over representation of characteristic based groups in unlinked records has been mitigated to some extent by the two-step calibration process.

Measures of error

27 In survey data sampling error is estimated using a measure of Relative Standard Error (RSE). Whilst RSEs can be produced for this data, they would not represent the error introduced by false links or error introduced in the statistical linking process, and have therefore not been included in this publication.

28 Statements made in the text of this publication that compare proportions between two population groups have not been tested for significance. Statistical significance testing requires an estimate of the magnitude of the error for each statistical estimate, which is not yet available for statistical estimates produced using the 2016 Australian Migrants and Census Integrated Dataset.

Interpretation of results

29 There are several variables common to the two source datasets which have definitional differences.

Year of arrival

30 Estimates in this publication are produced using the 2016 Census year of arrival variable (YARP). The year of arrival question on the Census asks overseas-born people to report the year they first arrived in Australia with the intention of staying for at least one year. The year the person first arrived in Australia to live here for one year or more may have occurred many years before their 'arrival date' as reported in the Permanent Migrant Data.

31 The 'Prior to 2000' year of arrival group represents those permanent migrants (whose Permanent Migrant Data arrival date is 1 January 2000 to 9 August 2016) who reported on the Census that they first came to Australia to live for one year or more prior to 2000. For some individuals, their year of arrival as reported on the Census is different to their Permanent Migrant Data arrival date pertaining to their permanent visa. The Permanent Migrant Data arrival date reflects an individual’s latest arrival pertaining to their latest permanent visa (see Note 8). Where the Census year of arrival precedes that of the Permanent Migrant Data, it is likely that the person was a temporary migrant for a period of time before attaining permanent resident status.

32 Due to the conceptual differences discussed (Notes 30-31) the year of arrival estimates in this publication will not reflect the Department of Home Affairs reported migrant intake for individual years of arrival, nor will they reflect year of arrival estimates from the 2016 Census of Population and Housing.

Country of birth

33 Estimates in this publication are produced using the 2016 Census country of birth variable (BPLP). The concept measured for country of birth is the same for both the Census and Permanent Migrant Data. However, the Census variable was coded using the Standard Australian Classification of Countries (SACC 1269.0) as it was on 9 August 2016, whilst the Permanent Migrant Data country of birth variable has been coded at the time of record creation over an 16 year period and therefore is based on a classification that has evolved over time.

34 For a substantial number of records, the 4 digit country of birth reported on the Census is different to the 4 digit country of birth recorded on the Permanent Migrant Data. For the majority of these records the 2 digit country of birth code is the same and the difference at the 4 digit level is due to differences in coding and the classifications.

35 Due to the conceptual differences described in Note 33 and 34 estimates for individual 4 digit country of birth may not necessarily reflect the Department of Home Affairs reported migrant intake from that country of birth.

Comparability with other data

36 Estimates from the 2016 Australian Migrants and Census Integrated Dataset will differ from the estimates produced from other ABS collections and estimates produced from the Permanent Migrant Data for several reasons. The estimates are a result of integrating data from two data sources, one an administrative dataset and the other a census. The linked records have been calibrated to known population totals from the Permanent Migrant Data, and the resulting dataset is unique from both the Census and the Permanent Migrant Data. Due to the quality issues mentioned in Notes 24 to 28, estimates should generally be treated with caution.

Privacy

37 The ABS respects individuals rights to privacy and is committed to keeping information safe and secure. The ABS is subject to strong legislation protecting the confidentiality of information, including the Census and Statistics Act 1905 which makes it a criminal offence to breach secrecy provisions

38 We handle personal information in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988 and the Australian Privacy Principles, and abide by the High Level Principles for Data Integration Involving Commonwealth Data for Statistical and Research Purposes. 

Confidentiality

39 In accordance with the Census and Statistics Act 1905, data are subject to a confidentiality process before release as noted above. This confidentiality process is undertaken to avoid releasing information that may allow the identification of particular individuals, families, households, dwellings or businesses.

Perturbation of data

40 To minimise the risk of identifying individuals in aggregate statistics, a technique is used to randomly adjust cell values. This technique is called perturbation. Perturbation involves small random adjustments of the statistics and is considered the most satisfactory technique for avoiding the release of identifiable statistics while maximising the range of information that can be released. These adjustments have a negligible impact on the underlying pattern of the statistics.

41 The introduction of these random adjustments result in tables not adding up. While some datasets apply a technique called additivity to give internally consistent results, additivity has not been implemented on the 2016 ACMID. As a result, randomly adjusted individual cells will be consistent across tables, but the totals in any table will not be the sum of the individual cell values. The size of the difference between summed cells and the relevant total will generally be very small.

Acknowledgement

42 The ABS acknowledges the continuing support provided by the Department of Home Affairs and the Department of Social Services for the Australian Migrants and Census Integrated Dataset (ACMID) Project. The provision of data as well as ongoing assistance provided by both agencies is essential to enable this important work to be undertaken. The enhancing of migrant related statistics through data linkage by the ABS would not be possible without their cooperation and support. The ABS also acknowledges the importance of the information provided freely by individuals in the course of the 2016 Census. The Census information of individuals received by the ABS is treated in the strictest confidence as is required by the Census and Statistics Act 1905. See the following link to the Census Privacy Policy.

Glossary

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Apart from the concepts relating to variables originating from the Department of Home Affairs Permanent Migrant Data (PMD) (i.e. visa stream, offshore/onshore applicant, main/secondary applicant, citizenship country), all other terms and definitions relate to Census variables and the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS).

See the Census Dictionary for more detail on Census items. Further information regarding the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) can be found at Statistical Geography

Australian citizen

Persons who arrived to live in Australia on a permanent or temporary visa and have since obtained Australian citizenship.

Being an Australian citizen formalises a person's membership of the Australian community. It entitles a person to live permanently in Australia, hold an Australian passport and do such things as vote to elect Australia's governments, stand for parliament, work in the Public Service and serve in the armed forces. A person may acquire Australian citizenship in a number of ways, for example, by birth, adoption, descent, resumption or grant of Australian citizenship (naturalisation). Migrants no longer require a visa once citizenship is granted.

  • General residence eligibility - Migrants can apply for Citizenship after residing in Australia holding a visa for four years immediately before applying. This must include the last 12 months as a permanent resident. In addition they must not have been absent from Australia for more than one year in total, in the 4 year period, including no more than 90 days absent in the year before applying. 
Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED)

The ASCED is a national standard classification which includes all sectors of the Australian education system: that is, schools, vocational education and training, and higher education. From 2001 ASCED replaced a number of classifications used in administrative and statistical systems, including the Australian Bureau of Statistics Classifications of Qualifications (ABSCQ). The ASCED comprises two classifications: Level of Education and Field of Education. See Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED), 2001 (cat. no. 1272.0).

Citizenship country

The country of citizenship of the visa applicant or visa holder. Where a visa applicant or visa holder has more than one citizenship country, either the citizenship of the travel document or the citizenship nominated by the visa applicant is used. A citizenship country of 'Not Specified' can result from eligible dual nationality applicants where the non-eligible nationality has been recorded for the visa application 

Country of birth 

Country of birth has been classified according to the Standard Australian Classification of Countries (SACC), 2016 (cat. no. 1269.0). 

Employed 

Persons who, during the week prior to the Census on 9 August 2016 (last week) worked for one hour or more for pay, profit, commission or payment in kind in a job, business or farm (comprising employees, employers and own account workers); or worked for one hour or more without pay in a family business or on a farm (i.e. contributing family workers); or were employees who had a job but were not at work. 

Employed full time 

Employed persons who usually worked 35 hours or more a week (in all jobs) and those who, although usually working less than 35 hours a week, worked 35 hours or more during the reference week. 

Employed part time 

Employed persons who usually worked less than 35 hours or more a week (in all jobs) and either did so during the reference week, or were not at work in the reference week.

Family migrants

Persons who have arrived in Australia on a Child, Partner, Parent or Other Family stream visa. These migrants are selected on the basis of their family relationship (spouse, de facto partner, intent to marry, child, parent, other family) with their sponsor who is an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand Citizen.

Humanitarian migrants 

Includes permanent entrants under the Offshore Humanitarian Program, as well as those who were granted permanent protection post-arrival in Australia. 

Industry 

Industry is classified according to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 2006 (cat. no. 1292.0.55.002). 

Labour force 

Persons who were in the categories 'employed' or 'unemployed' as defined. 

Level of highest non-school qualification 

Level of highest non-school qualification identifies the highest qualification a person has attained in any area of study. It is not a measurement of the relative importance of different fields of study but a ranking of qualifications and other educational attainments regardless of the particular area of study or the type of institution in which the study was undertaken. It is categorised according to the Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED), 2001 (cat. no. 1272.0) Level of Education classification. 

Main applicant 

The 'main applicant' is generally the person whose skills or proposed activities in Australia are assessed by the Department of Home Affairs as part of their visa application. They will usually have been specifically identified on the application form as the 'main applicant'.

Main field of non-school qualification

Main field of non-school qualification is defined as the subject matter of the qualification. It is categorised according to the Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED), 2001 (cat. no. 1272.0) Field of Education classification. 

Non-school qualification

Non-school qualifications are awarded for educational attainments other than those of pre-primary, primary or secondary education. They include qualifications at the Postgraduate Degree level, Master Degree level, Graduate Diploma and Graduate Certificate level, Bachelor Degree level, Advanced Diploma and Diploma level, and Certificates I, II, III and IV levels. Non-school qualifications may be obtained concurrently with school qualifications.

Not in the labour force

Persons who were not in the categories 'employed' or 'unemployed' as defined.

Occupation

Occupation is classified according to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations, 2013, Version 1.2 (cat. no. 1220.0). 

Offshore applicant

A person who has applied from outside of Australia for a permanent entry visa is called an 'offshore' applicant. For an offshore applicant, their arrival date is recorded when the applicant arrives in Australia on that permanent visa. 

Onshore applicant

A person who has applied for a permanent visa from within Australia (e.g. maybe on a temporary visa and wishes to remain in Australia, such as a student or a temporary worker) is classified as an 'Onshore' applicant. For a person who applies onshore, their arrival date is the date of their last entry into Australia. 

Other Permanent visa 

Includes all other permanent visa categories (not included in the Skill, Family or Humanitarian streams) such as Former Citizen or Former resident (151,152) and Resolution of Status (851) or where the type of permanent visa could not be determined.

Permanent visa

The permission or authority granted by Australia for foreign nationals to live in Australia permanently.

Permanent migrant

A person who was born overseas, was not an Australian citizen or New Zealand citizen on arrival, does not currently hold New Zealand citizenship, and has permanent Australian resident status.

Skilled migrants

Persons who have arrived in Australia on a Skill stream visa. The Skill stream consists of a number of categories for prospective migrants where there is demand in Australia for their particular skills. They could be nominated by an employer or State/Territory Government, apply under points based Skilled  Migration, have outstanding talents or demonstrated business skills.

Secondary applicant

A person whose visa was granted on the basis of being the family member (e.g. spouse, dependent child) of a person who qualified for a visa. They will have been identified on the visa application as an 'other' or secondary applicant with the person who met the visa criteria being specifically identified on the visa application as the 'main applicant'. Secondary applicants are included in the same visa stream as the main applicant. For example, family members granted permanent visas where the main applicant has been granted a Skilled stream visa, will all enter Australia under a Skilled stream visa.

Unemployed

Persons aged 15 years and over who were not employed last week (at the time of the Census), and had actively looked for full-time or part-time work at any time in the last four weeks and were available and could have started work last week if the job had been available then.

Visa stream (permanent)

The permanent visa subclasses held by individuals are categorised into the following visa streams. 

  • Skill stream
  • Family stream
  • Humanitarian stream
  • Other Permanent visa stream

For more information see Glossary entries on Skilled migrants, Family migrants, Humanitarian migrants and Other Permanent visa.

Year of arrival

All overseas born people, in scope for the Census, are asked to report when they first came to Australia to live for one year or more. The Census Year of arrival (YARP) is a different concept from the arrival date recorded in the Permanent Migrant Data.

The arrival date in the Permanent Migrant Data reflects an individuals latest arrival date pertaining to their latest permanent visa. For this reason, while the scope of the Australian Census and Migrants Integrated Dataset is restricted to those permanent migrants with an arrival date from 1 January 2000 - 9 August 2016, it is quite valid for people to have reported an earlier date of arrival on the Census (i.e. prior to 2000). Note that a migrant may have been resident in Australia for a number of years prior to having been granted a permanent visa so their Census arrival date may relate to an earlier temporary visa.

Quality declaration

Institutional environment

The Australian Census and Migrants Integrated Dataset (ACMID), 2016 is released in TableBuilder. TableBuilder files are released in accordance with the conditions specified in the Statistics Determination section of the Census and Statistics Act 1905. This ensures that confidentiality is maintained whilst enabling micro level data to be released.

For information on the institutional environment of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), including the legislative obligations of the ABS, financing and governance arrangements, and mechanisms for scrutiny of ABS operations, please see ABS Institutional Environment.

Relevance

The 2016 ACMID contains information on persons who responded to the 9 August 2016 Census of Population and Housing and persons who had a permanent visa record on the Department of Social Services Permanent Migrant Data (PMD) with a date of arrival between 1 January 2000 and 9 August 2016 (inclusive). Persons excluded from the 2016 ACMID are:

  • Persons whose Census record indicated that they were an overseas visitor
  • Persons on a Temporary or Bridging visa

The PMD date of arrival on which the scope is based reflects an individual's latest arrival pertaining to their latest permanent visa. For an offshore applicant, the PMD arrival date is when the applicant arrives in Australia on that permanent visa. However, for a person who applies onshore for a permanent visa, the date of arrival listed on the PMD is the date of their last entry into Australia.

Timeliness

The Census of Population and Housing is conducted every five years. For further information see 2016 Census Overview and Understanding the Census and Census Data.

Accuracy

The 2016 ACMID, contains individual person level data. For more information on the level of detail provided in the TableBuilder, please see the Data downloads section.

The TableBuilder product has in-built procedures to confidentialise the data in such a way as to maximise the usefulness of the content while maintaining the confidentiality of respondents. As a result, it may not be possible to exactly reconcile all the statistics produced from the TableBuilder with published statistics. Further information about the steps taken to confidentialise the microdata is available through the following link: TableBuilder Confidentiality.

Further information about the data and the linking methodology see the Explanatory Notes.

Coherence

Estimates from the 2016 ACMID will differ from the estimates produced from other ABS collections and estimates produced from the PMD for several reasons. The estimates are a result of integrating data from two data sources, one an administrative dataset and the other a census. The linked records have been calibrated to known population totals from the SDB, and the resulting dataset is unique from both the Census and the PMD. Due to the quality issues previously mentioned, estimates should generally be treated with caution.

Interpretability

The information within this product should be referred to when using the microdata. It contains information including Explanatory Notes, File Structure, TableBuilder User Guide and the Data Items.

Accessibility

The 2016 ACMID can be accessed using TableBuilder.

Microdata products are available to approved users. Users wishing to access the microdata should read the How to apply for Microdata web page, before applying for access through Registration Centre. Users should also familiarise themselves with information available via the Microdata Entry Page.

A full list of available microdata can be viewed via the list of expected and Available Microdata.

Any questions regarding access to microdata can be forwarded by email to microdata.access@abs.gov.au or phone 1300 135 070 (within Australia) or +61 2 9268 4909 (from overseas).

Abbreviations

Show all

ABSAustralian Bureau of Statistics
ABSCQAustralian Bureau of Statistics Classification of Qualifications
ANZSCOAustralian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations
ANZSICAustralian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification
ASCEDAustralian Standard Classification of Education
ASGSAustralian Statistical Geographical Standard
DSSDepartment of Social Services
Home AffairsDepartment of Home Affairs
nfdnot further defined
PMDPermanent Migrant Data
RSERelative Standard Error
SACCStandard Australian Classification of Countries
SEIFASocio-Economic Index for Areas

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 3417.0.55.001.