Australian Government: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare METeOR Home Page

National Indigenous Reform Agreement: PI 14a-Level of workforce participation (Census data), 2015-16; Quality Statement

Identifying and definitional attributes

Metadata item type:Help on this termQuality Statement
METeOR identifier:Help on this term664704
Registration status:Help on this termIndigenous, Archived 07/02/2018

Relational attributes

Indicators linked to this Quality statement:Help on this term

National Indigenous Reform Agreement: PI 14a—Level of workforce participation (Census data), 2017 Indigenous, Archived 06/06/2017

Data quality

Institutional environment:Help on this term

The Census of Population and Housing is collected by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) under the Census and Statistics Act 1905.

For information on the institutional environment of the ABS, including the legislative obligations of the ABS, financing and government arrangements, and mechanisms for scrutiny of ABS operations, see ABS Institutional Environment.

Timeliness:Help on this term

The Census is conducted every five years in August. Results from the 2011 Census were released in 2012 and 2013.

Accessibility:Help on this term

An extensive range of Census online products are available from the Data & Analysis page.

If the Census information required is not available as a standard product or service, then ABS Consultancy Services can provide customised services to suit your needs. Contact 1300 135 070 from within Australia or +61 2 9268 4909 from overseas for all your Census and other information needs. Alternatively, email

Interpretability:Help on this term

The 2011 Census Dictionary (ABS 2011) is a comprehensive reference guide designed to assist users to determine and specify their data requirements, and to understand the concepts underlying the data. It provides details of classifications used and a glossary of definitions of Census terms.

A number of other resources can be accessed from the Data quality page, including Data Quality Statements for these data items and Fact sheets, although information on Labour force status has not yet been released.

Relevance:Help on this term

Census data are available by state/territory and by statistical areas. The Census collects data from all people in Australia on Census night, except foreign diplomats and their families. Norfolk Island is outside the scope of the Census.

The Census collects information on labour force status. The Census Dictionary 2011 (ABS 2011) provides a list of the classifications used in the labour force status variable.

Accuracy:Help on this term

The 2011 Post Enumeration Survey, which is run a month after each Census is completed, found a net undercount for the 2011 Census of 1.7%. This means over 98% of all people in Australia on Census night were counted; this was an improvement of 1% on the undercount from 2006. The Census is self-enumerated; respondents sometimes do not return a Census form or fail to answer every applicable question. While some data is imputed, the majority of output classifications include a `Not stated’ category to record the level of non-response for that data item.

Labour force status is the main census data item used to provide data for these indicators. The non-response rate for this variable in the 2011 Census was 5.6% (down from 6.5% in 2006).

The Indigenous status item is used to ascertain Indigenous status of persons. The non-response rate for this variable was 4.9% (down from 5.7% in 2006).

For further information see specific data quality statements and the non-response rate quality statement.

Coherence:Help on this term

It is important for Census data to be comparable and compatible with previous Censuses and also with other data produced by the ABS and wider community. The ABS, and the Census, uses Australian standard classifications, where available and appropriate, to provide data comparability across statistical collections.

The 2006 Census dictionary (ABS 2006) provides some information on the differences and similarities between the Census and the labour force survey.

The Labour force Survey is also a source of information for labour force concepts and information (ABS 2017).

Source and reference attributes

Submitting organisation:Help on this term

Australian Bureau of Statistics

Origin:Help on this term

ABS Census of Population and Housing (Census). Data are available every five years.

Reference documents:Help on this term

ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) 2006. Census Dictionary, 2006. ABS Cat. no. 2901.0. Canberra: ABS.

ABS 2011. Census Dictionary, 2011. ABS Cat. no. 2901.0. Canberra: ABS.

ABS 2017. Labour Force, Australia: Labour Force Status and Other Characteristics of Families, June 2016. ABS Cat. no. 6224.0.55.001. Canberra: ABS.

Relational attributes

Related metadata references:Help on this term

Supersedes National Indigenous Reform Agreement: PI 14a-Level of workforce participation (Census data), 2014 QS Indigenous, Archived 17/02/2016

Has been superseded by National Indigenous Reform Agreement: PI 14a-Level of workforce participation (Census data), 2018; Quality Statement Indigenous, Archived 07/02/2019

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