Talk:Census in Australia

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comment from July 2006[edit]

29July2006 Can't find the place where you make a comment on what it was that you editted. Only a minor change to the article 1911, fixed a typo "dealy" to delay. By the way is just my browser, but the image of the logo of the 2006 Census is not displaying as a picture. D.Tzumli

Australian Census Template[edit]

I made the Australian Census Template Template:Australian Census Broad Groups to show how the Australian Census Bureau classifies people, because it improves the content of the article and demographic data related to Australia. This template shows the official racial/ethnic classifications used in Australia. This information not only improves the content of the Ausralian Census article but would be useful on other pages relating to Australia's demographics. Information provided by the Australian Census would be useful in the Demographics of Australia article. Currently in August 20 2006, the ethnic groups section classifies people into "Caucasian", "Asian" and "Indigenous", but these are from the United-States-centric The World Factbook. The CIA World Factbook classifies Australians according to their parameters for ethnicity which is not recognized by the Australian Census. I think this ethnicity section should used the ethnic classifications made by the Australian Census.--Dark Tichondrias 11:15, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

  • Ethnicity is not an important feature to my mind of how Australians classify themselves nor what the census measures compared with other things. The ethnic breakdown does not seem to represent the relevant questions either - we are never ever called "Oceanian". We should not be using the CIA factbook classifications for ethnicity and we should not be categorising people by ethnicity when other dimensions are counted. Why not wait til the results are out and put in a table - all dimensions not just ethnicity? I can't see how this template helps the reader.--Arktos talk 11:26, 20 August 2006 (UTC)
  • Reference "Oceanian", it would always be broken down to the second level groupings and for Aust almost invariably 3rd level - ie
    • 11 Australian Peoples
      • 1101 Australian
      • 1102 Australian Aboriginal
      • 1103 Australian South Sea Islander
      • 1104 Torres Strait Islander
    • 12 New Zealand Peoples
    • 13 Melanesian and Papuan
    • 14 Micronesian
    • 15 Polynesian
no report of Australian enthnicity would have "Oceanian" despite the ABS ref--Arktos talk 11:30, 20 August 2006 (UTC)


In addition ot the points made above that I have never heard the term Oceanian used in connection with "official racial/ethnic classifications used in Australia", I also find such classifications inappropriate before the results are out and without reference to other tabulations. It will be of more interest to people what the population count was, how old people were, where they lived, ahead of any questions of ethnicity. I suspect ethnicity is misunderstood outside of Australia too - I recall the incident with Prince Charles and an Australian of a few years ago[1]. What would appear on his census record? Surely "1101 Australian". I think the template should be deleted as misleading and inappropriate and removed from this article.--Arktos talk 22:04, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

There are 14 links in that template, none of which are particularly useful for understanding the census nor any other ABS publications. The census questions were not represented in this way, and it is unlikely that the results will be, either. The only thing that someone could even hope to derive from classifying people at that broad level is some indication of largescale migration and cultural integration. I support removing the template. --Scott Davis Talk 23:01, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

Ethnicity[edit]

I find the edits by Dark Tichondrias particularly inappropriate. More than half the section on the recently held 2006 census is devoted to race / national origin with special mention of the fact The broad group of "Peoples of the Americas" included the nations of North and South America and should not be confused with a category for Indigenous Peoples of the Americas. and the only wikilink to Indigenous peoples of the Americas. Of the many ethnic groups and places of origin represented in the Australian population, I expect that one of the smallest percentages must relate to this group. As stated above, I also find such classifications or discussions inappropriate before the results are out and without reference to other tabulations. It will be of more interest to people what the population count was, how old people were, where they lived, ahead of any questions of ethnicity.

Why doesn't the editor look at the actual results of five years ago. He or she might find something more useful there. At the moment the current edits are original research because the editor has taken the classification scheme reference and applied his or her analysis to it. He/she has got it wrong in my opinion too, but would of course not have got it wrong if it had not been original research.

The organisation IS NOT the Australian Census Bureau.

The current article states: The 2006 Australian Census did not ask for respondent's race but for their national origin group, because the Australian Census Bureau felt that bunching together data on separate ethnic groups made the data less useful. An exhaustive list of national origins were listed with their corresponding codes. These were categorized into the broad groups to make finding one's national origin group easier

The source from the ABS states ASCCEG is a classification of cultural and ethnic groups based on the geographic area in which a group originated or developed and the similarity of cultural and ethnic groups in terms of social and cultural characteristics. ASCCEG is intended for use in the collection, aggregation and dissemination of data relating to the cultural diversity of the Australian Population. ... It should be noted that the measurement of the ethnic and cultural diversity of the Australian population, and the degree to which Australians retain their ethnic and cultural identity, is primarily based on the use of a number of statistical variables related to a person's origin, including: Country of Birth, Country of Birth of Mother/Father, language variables such as Main Language Other than English Spoken at Home, Religious Affiliation, Proficiency in Spoken English, and Year of Arrival in Australia. ... Information on ethnic identity, ancestry and cultural identity (collected and classified using ASCCEG) can be used in conjunction with these variables to provide a self-assessed measure of ethnicity and cultural background. A major advantage of such information is that it is able to measure an association with ethnic or cultural groups which does not equate directly to country of birth, language or religion and cannot be readily identified using these variables.

ABS didn't ask for "race" because ethnic and cultural identity are determined by a number of variables and self-assessment of race or ethnicity is not done on the basis of one question but the collation of the results of person's origin, including: Country of Birth, Country of Birth of Mother/Father, language variables such as Main Language Other than English Spoken at Home, Religious Affiliation, Proficiency in Spoken English, and Year of Arrival in Australia. It isn't simplistic "bunching together data on separate ethnic groups made the data less useful.". There is plenty of disaggregation going on, the question is how do you determine what ethnicity is.

There are many things that could be said about the census before a discussion on race and ethnicity, let alone with the tangent to the race of the American peoples.

Reverting again as breach of WP:NOR, unbalanced and wrong. --Arktos talk 19:32, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

Narrow groups / bunching together data[edit]

The quote I was looking at when I wrote "The 2006 Australian Census did not ask for respondent's race but for their national origin group, because the Australian Census Bureau felt that bunching together data on separate ethnic groups made the data less useful." was the statement by the Australian Census Bureau that says "These narrow groups also enhance the practicality, feasibility and usefulness of the classification". link to quote Granted this is a quote from the 2001 Australian Census that I thought was the 2006, but this error on my part does not constitute original research. If you think "There are many things that could be said about the census before a discussion on race and ethnicity", then you should add these things, but this is not a reason to remove the information about race and ethnicity.--Dark Tichondrias 21:12, 21 August 2006 (UTC)
  • "Narrow groups" as in "These narrow groups also enhance the practicality, feasibility and usefulness of the classification" does not equal "because the Australian Census Bureau felt that bunching together data on separate ethnic groups made the data less useful." Please review the whole page (in this case page 14 of 176 page document) and preferably more of the document. For example, even the sentence User:Dark Tichondrias quotes is quoted out of context. The full paragraph reads:

    In most cases, narrow groups are an aggregation of cultural and ethnic groups based on one or both of the criteria listed above and include groups originating in a number of different countries. In three instances, however, a narrow group of cultural and ethnic groups is represented by a single country: 11, Australian Peoples; 12, New Zealand Peoples; and 21, British. These narrow groups have been developed because they include cultural and ethnic groups which, although dissimilar in many aspects of the second criterion, nevertheless developed in the same geographic area. These narrow groups also enhance the practicality, feasibility and usefulness of the classification.

Yes it does. The quote does say that bunching together data is less useful. The quote about the usefulness of narrow groups was to contrast its usefulness to the larger broad groups, so when I reported the ABS's reasoning I was not making original research.--Dark Tichondrias 09:56, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
The narrow groups in this case are talking about some aspects of the second level classification. The next paragraph goes on to say:

In another three instances, narrow groups represent a single recognised ethnic or cultural entity: 22, Irish; 41, Arab; and 42, Jewish. Irish and Jewish are represented both at the narrow group level and base level of the classification because they are single base level entity groups. In the case of the Irish it was considered more useful to present this group as a separate entity than to include it as part of Narrow Group 21, British or Narrow Group 23, Western European. The Jewish people are classified to Broad Group 4, North African and the Middle Eastern as this is the area of the world in which this cultural and ethnic group originated and developed. Because there are no other cultural and ethnic groups in this broad group with which the Jewish group shares similar social and cultural characteristics they form a single entity narrow group.

It can be seen from this paragraph that "Narrow Group" is a concept as distinct from "Broad Group" - note the use of capitalisation as well as how the terms are deployed. Nowhere is narrow groups seen as narrow in the sense of "bunching together of data". See also page 25 where the term is used in the heading structure.
A more useful source for understanding the Australian Bureau of Statistics evolving approach to ancestry and ethnicity is 2970.0.55.006 - 2001 Census of Population and Housing - Fact Sheet: Ancestry, 2001: A person's ancestry, in conjunction with the person's birthplace and whether the person's parents were born in Australia or overseas, provide a good indication of the ethnic background of first and second generation Australians. ...Ancestry data will also help to identify distinct ethnic or cultural groups within a country such as Maori or Australian South Sea Islander, and groups which are spread across countries such as Kurdish or Indian. Country of birth data alone cannot identify these groups. Identification of these groups is essential for planning and the effective delivery of services to particular ethnic communities. Narrow groupings is not the appropriate concept, it is groupings relevant to understanding the population and for govenrment making sure appropriate services are delivered,for example, multilingual programs in health care. Actual 2001 results to do with Ancestry and discussion as to how obtained are found at 2054.0 - Australian Census Analytic Program: Australians' Ancestries, 2001. This over 2mb pdf has the results.
The assertion about original research was not in the context of whether or not ancestry or ethnicity is analysed it was the way User:Dark Tichondrias presented the ABS's approach to the analysis which is I think quite wrong, as he/she has quoted material inaccurately and out of context.--Arktos talk 23:50, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

"Australian Census Bureau"[edit]

The Australian Standard Classification of Cultural and Ethnic Groups is indeed part of the Australian Census Bureau. The organization's URL is part of the Australian Census Bureau (ABS) because the first part of its URL is "www.ausstats.abs.gov.au".--Dark Tichondrias 21:12, 21 August 2006 (UTC)
  • There is no "Australian census bureau - there is an Australian Bureau of Statistics - misnaming organisations is inaccurate and casts doubt on the accuracy of anything else you have written.--Arktos talk 23:50, 21 August 2006 (UTC)
That URL is for the Australian Bureau of Statistics. There is no "Australian Census Bureau". --Scott Davis Talk 23:23, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

Ethnicity - Australian Standard Classification of Cultural and Ethnic Groups[edit]

The question is not what constitutes ethnicity. The Australian Standard Classification of Cultural and Ethnic Groups which is part of the Australian Census Bureau makes it clear what constitutes an ethnic group by the examples they give. Ugandan and Zulu are examples they give of ethnic groups, but there are plenty more examples. I am not making original research when I report that the ASCCES which is part of the Australian Census Bureau has defined ethnic group.--Dark Tichondrias 21:12, 21 August 2006 (UTC)
  • But it is unbalanced to talk about Indigenous peoples of the Americas without reference to one of the classifications defined on pages 26 to 176 of the classification document. As far as I can see this group links to classification 8106 (see page 152). The discussion in the large document relating to Ancestry results from the 2001 census states about the Americas: Among the categories grouped under the Americas are minority ancestries such as African American, Hispanic and American Indian, as well as French Canadian. (page 14) The number of people with any sort of American ancestry in 2001 was 44,255 (in 1986 it was 43,094) (page 18) Those numbers include people reporting multiple ancestries. (page 28) - in fact more than 50% of those with American ancestry included it as a multiple ancestry response (page 29). The Appendix (pages 95 onwards) shows that there was no breakdown to code 8106. For the Americas, no doubt due to the samll numbers, the breakdowns were limited to North America n.e.c. (732), South American n.e.c. (10 550), Canadian (20 984), and American (49 124). The associated codes are not given with these results.
Your assertion The broad group of "Peoples of the Americas" included the nations of North and South America and should not be confused with a category for Indigenous Peoples of the Americas. makes no sense in light of the actual classification scheme and the reporting of the results. The scheme can is broken down:
  • 8000 People of the Americas, n.f.d.
  • 8100 North American, n.f.d.
    • 8101 African American
    • 8102 American
    • 8103 Canadian
    • 8104 French Canadian
    • 8105 Hispanic (North American)
    • 8106 Native North American Indian
    • 8199 North American, n.e.c. (includes Bermudan, Inuit, Metis)
  • 8200 South American, n.f.d.
    • 8201 Argentinian
    • 8202 Bolivian
    • 8203 Brazilian
    • 8204 Chilean
    • etc
  • 8300 Central American, n.f.d.
  • 8400 Caribbean Islander, n.f.d.
Because of the small numbers, the census results are not reported to the fine distinctions available.
In Australia we are more interested in statistics about our own indigenous population which comprise 2.4% of the total pop (see for example ABS doc 4713.0).
As above, the assertion about original research was not in the context of whether or not ancestry or ethnicity is analysed it was the way User:Dark Tichondrias presented the ABS's approach to the analysis which is I think quite wrong having quoted material inaccurately and out of context.--Arktos talk 23:50, 21 August 2006 (UTC)
Without the exhaustive list of categories in "Peoples of the Americas" in the article, it would need to be clarified that the category is not for American Indians.--Dark Tichondrias 09:59, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
  • No it would be extremely unbalanced to do so. There are minimal numbers if any American Indians in Australia. Although there is provision to count them, we don't report them when they are so few. There are no doubt many other ethnicities we similarly do not report. This article is about what is not what isn't. It is pushing a POV to report on a non-existant minority group when there are plenty of more significant ethnicities to comment on. I doubt whether even the broadest group of Americans combining both north and south would get a mention - not as significant numerically as say Germans.--Arktos talk 11:09, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
The equivalent inclusion of content, would be that when referring to Australian you would always qualify as to whether or not you are referring to Indigenous Australians. But more than that you are asking for a special mention of Indigenous Australians to be made in the articles on the censuses of other countries. When Indigenous Australians are mentioned in the UK and the US census articles (as well of course as Maoris and other indigenous peoples), I will see the point. That Australians probably won't be mentioned in those articles is nether here nor there, Americans probably wouldn't be mentioned here either if the article maintains its balance. If Americans are mentioned, we will be sure to include a note to reference the continent as determining who is and isn't an American for this categorisation purpose - ie explain or at least reference the Australian Standard Classification of Cultural and Ethnic Groups.--Arktos talk 19:57, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
DT: I'm not sure what you mean "...the category is not for American Indians"? Where do you think they fit if it's not the "Peoples of the Americas" category? --Scott Davis Talk 23:27, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

Exact questions on census[edit]

The exact question is (I still have the paper form as we filled it in online):
18 What is the person's ancestry?
  • Provide up to two ancestries only.
  • Examples of 'Other - please specify' are: GREEK, VIETNAMESE, HMONG, DUTCH, KURDISH, MAORI, LEBANESE, AUSTRALIAN SOUTH SEA ISLANDER.
  • See page 7 of the Census Guide for more information.
  • Remember to mark boxes like this: —
The choices are:
  • English
  • Irish
  • Italian
  • German
  • Chinese
  • Scottish
  • Australian
  • Other - please specify
--Scott Davis Talk 23:23, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

TfD nomination of Template:Australian Census Broad Groups[edit]

Template:Australian Census Broad Groups has been nominated for deletion. You are invited to comment on the discussion at the template's entry on the Templates for Deletion page. Thank you. Arktos talk 23:18, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Australia Census 2006.gif[edit]

Resolved: Matilda talk 05:56, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
Nuvola apps important.svg

Image:Australia Census 2006.gif is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images lacking such an explanation can be deleted one week after being tagged, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot (talk) 19:07, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

Jedi census phenomenon[edit]

Jedi census phenomenon, this should surely be included somewhere? it is notable and referenced in it's own page. Not sure where it should go. Someone please help.--TinTin (talk) 06:00, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

Removed paragraph[edit]

I took out the following:

Nevertheless 2.2 per cent of households viewed as being inhabited did no submit a census form. This resulted in 250 attempts to prosecute. It is not clear whether any prosecutions could be successful given that any person could claim they were not present on census night

The vast majority of these are for households which are simply away on holidays on Census day, and therefore they don't get counted. If they are on holidays in Australia, they should be counted where they are on that day. If they are overseas, they don't get counted at all.Eregli bob (talk) 12:26, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

It was originally added by an IP, is unsourced and was placed in the "See also" section. While information on the amount of Census undercount and prosecutions (which incidentally is a bit misleading, since the ABS issues fines for non-compliance, but it's the DPP that prosecutes on non-payment of the fines) might be useful to include in the article, it needs to be sourced (which I might be able to help with) and probably worded better. Confusing Manifestation(Say hi!) 00:00, 23 February 2011 (UTC)

Closest source I've found after a quick look on the ABS website suggests that there were 305 Notices of Direction (which if not complied with lead to fines) issued after the 2006 Census[2]. Can't find a stat for the number of "attempts to prosecute". As for the percentage of hhs that didn't submit a Census form, the closest thing I can find is that 2.9% of dwellings were "missed" by the Census, according to the PES/undercount publication[3], although there's also a figure in that publication that says 2.2% of persons in the 2001 Census were "imputed", i.e. had Census figures predicted based on other data. Confusing Manifestation(Say hi!) 00:45, 23 February 2011 (UTC)
Also, the "not clear whether any prosecutions could be successful..." bit is clearly OR - even if everybody could offer that excuse, not everybody does. 2.9% of dwellings seems reasonably consistent with 2.2% of persons, since the smaller households are easier to miss. --GenericBob (talk) 09:47, 23 February 2011 (UTC)

Compulsory or not?[edit]

Recent edits to the lead section say that the census is not compulsory, citing the Census Act. However, I'm not sure that this is valid, because:

Certainly the statement that "So far no census in Australia has been compulsory" is near impossible to substantiate. How can we be certain that the Statistician has never issued a written request to someone to fill out the form, per section 10(4) or 11(2) of the Act, thus making it compulsory (per section 14)? Mitch Ames (talk) 09:39, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

Been using a game from the ABS with my secondary students this week. In response to the question of whether it's compulsory, the response is "Ultimately yes. The Chief Statistician can, in writing, direct a householder to complete the form" HiLo48 (talk) 10:16, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
I knew that someone would end up pulling this out - its not compulsory as in the same manner as it is compulsory to vote in Australia, persons can be added to the 2011 census in section 55 & 56 to indicate why they cannot partake. The act makes it clear that some people are NOT allowed to complete the census for 99 years with fines up to $4000, the same as the act also outlines that you are only required to complete the census if you are directed to by the 'director', and an authorised person. If you have any case law, or a well vetted news article to prove otherwise then please add cite. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Amckern (talkcontribs) 05:52, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
I really don't understand that post. It wanders around a lot. If you can be directed to fill it out, doesn't that make it compulsory? HiLo48 (talk) 07:36, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
It says exactly what it says... They give everyone a form, and you can fill it out or not, but you must fill it out if you are personally directed to by the chief statistician. So in practice it's not compulsory, but you can be forced to complete the census on an individual basis if circumstances dictate so. 115.64.159.41 (talk) 09:41, 5 August 2011 (UTC)


Amckern, I presume your "99 years" comment relates to section 19A of the Census & Statistics Act, since that's the only passage in the Act that mentions a 99-year period. If that's the case, you have badly misread it. The relevant passages are:
(1) A person who is or has been the Statistician or an officer must not, at any time during the period of 99 years beginning on the Census day for a Census: (a) be required to divulge or communicate to an Agency any information that is contained in a form that is given to the Statistician or an authorised officer under section 10 in relation to that Census; or (b) voluntarily give such information to an Agency; other than in accordance with this Act.
...
(2) A person who is or has been the Statistician or an officer must not, at any time during the period of 99 years beginning on the Census day for a Census: (a) be required to divulge or communicate to a court or tribunal any information contained in a form that is given to the Statistician or an authorised officer under section 10 in relation to that Census; or (b) voluntarily give such information in evidence in proceedings before a court or tribunal.
You seem to be interpreting this as saying that the Statistician and other ABS officers aren't allowed to complete the Census (which would be a rather odd state of affairs). What it actually says is that the ABS is not permitted to disclose your personal Census information to other agencies (tax, police, whoever). In attempting to construe this as meaning that the Census is "not compulsory", you're engaging in original research, and inaccurate OR at that.
"persons can be added to the 2011 census in section 55 & 56 to indicate why they cannot partake" - sections 55 and 56 of what? Not the Census & Statistics Act, which doesn't seem to go up to section 55. Not the current Census form itself - question 55 is "how many bedrooms are in this dwelling?" and question 56 is about whether the dwelling is owned outright/mortgaged/rented/etc.
In practice, the Census is compulsory. If you refuse to complete it, you'll be asked politely a couple of times, and if you hold out you'll get a Notice of Direction. According to the ABS' annual report 2006-7, there were 4955 Notices of Direction issued for the 2001 Census. 253 of those proceeded to prosecution; most of the remainder would have been cases where the NoD was enough to get a response.
So we have a cite from the ABS saying the Census is compulsory; the only counter-claims seem to be based on editors' interpretations of legislation, which is most definitely original research. Unless somebody can pull out a reliable source that says the census is non-compulsory, the ABS source stands. --GenericBob (talk) 10:15, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
After watching quite a bit of news today related to the census, representatives of the ABS have affirmed YES, sadly I am on a limited fire wall and cannot provide a cite to confirm this, but both Nines Today, and Sevens Sunrise do have these interviews on their websites. I retract my comments above.--Amckern (talk) 03:23, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

Quick Question[edit]

Is the National Archiving of the census, to be released in 99 years, applying to the current 2011 census? Or was this just a 2001 thing? 203.206.11.64 (talk) 10:31, 9 August 2011 (UTC) Sutter Cane

The archiving option applies in 2011 as well. [4] - Question 60 of the 2011 Census form is

Does each person ... agree to ... information on this form being kept by the National Archives of Australia and then made publicly available after 99 years?

Mitch Ames (talk) 12:03, 9 August 2011 (UTC)