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Country of Birth of Person

Country of Birth of Person (BPLP)

This variable indicates the country in which a person was born.

The question relating to Country of Birth of Person (BPLP) was first asked in the 1911 Census. Prior to 2006, this variable was referred to as 'Birthplace' rather than 'Country of Birth'. Further information on Census Topics 1911-2011, can be found in How Australia Takes a Census (cat. no. 2903.0).

The non-response rate for this variable was 5.6% (6.9% in 2006). In a small number of cases where country of birth was 'Not Stated', the category 'Born in Australia' was derived. This occurred when the person's father or mother was counted in the same dwelling and reported that they were born in Australia. If insufficient information is provided to derive a response, BPLP will remain 'Not Stated'. More information is available from the 2011 Census non-response quality statement.

Most of the data processed for BPLP (85.6%) was captured automatically from mark box responses and the risk of introducing processing error using automatic mark box coding is considered minimal. The remaining responses, consisting mainly of written responses, were coded using a combination of automatic reading and coding processes (13.8%), and manual coding processes (0.6%). In a small proportion of cases (testing has indicated that this is less than 1.0%), respondents provided an incorrect number of responses (for BPLP, respondents were asked to only mark one response). In these cases, responses were accepted in the order they appeared on the form and the extra responses were rejected.

The Standard Australian Classification of Countries (SACC) Second Edition, Revision 1, released in 2011, was used to code data for BPLP.

When completing their Census Form, some people provide responses which cannot be coded. In these instances, an 'Inadequately Described' code is allocated during processing. There was a reduction in these responses, which for 2011 comprised 0.04% of the data (decreasing from 0.05% in 2006).

The changes for the birthplace question (question 12 on the Census Household Form), involved the inclusion of 'India' in the list of mark boxes and the exclusion of 'Greece'. 'Scotland' was repositioned and the spelling of 'Vietnam' was altered from the spelling used in 2006 (i.e. 'Viet Nam'). These changes to the form were a result of analysis of the 2006 Census.

More information on BPLP is available in the 2011 Census Dictionary (cat. no. 2901.0)

Question 12 as it appeared on the 2011 Census Household Form

Image of question 12 from the 2011 Census
A text only version of this question is also available

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Household / Dwelling

2011 Census Dictionary

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