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

National Indigenous Reform Agreement: PI 14a-Level of workforce participation (Census data), 2020; Quality Statement

Identifying and definitional attributes

Metadata item type:Help on this termQuality Statement
METeOR identifier:Help on this term726274
Registration status:Help on this termIndigenous, Endorsed 06/02/2020

Relational attributes

Indicators linked to this Quality statement:Help on this term

National Indigenous Reform Agreement: PI 14a-Level of workforce participation (Census data), 2020 Indigenous, Endorsed 23/08/2019

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 2016 Census were released in 2017 and 2018.

Accessibility:Help on this term

An extensive range of Census online products are available from the Census homepage on the ABS website.

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 2016 Census Dictionary (ABS 2016) 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.

Information about the 2016 Census (including data quality statements and conceptual information) can be found in Census of Population and Housing: Understanding the Census and Census Data, Australia, 2016 (ABS cat. no. 2900.0).

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. People in Norfolk Island on Census night were counted for the first time in the 2016 Australian Census following passage of the Norfolk Island Legislation Amendment Act 2015.

The Census collects information on labour force status. The Census Dictionary 2016 (ABS 2016) provides a list of the classifications used in the labour force status variable.

Accuracy:Help on this term

The 2016 Post Enumeration Survey, which is run a month after each Census is completed, found a net undercount for the 2016 Census of 1.0%. This means approximately 99% of all people in Australia on Census night were counted; this was an improvement of 0.7% on the undercount from 2011. 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 2016 Census was 6.7% (up from 5.6% in 2011).

The Indigenous status item is used to ascertain Indigenous status of persons. The non-response rate for this variable was 6.0% (up from 4.9% in 2011).

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 2016 Census dictionary (ABS 2016) 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 2016. Census of Population and Housing: Census Dictionary, 2016. ABS Cat. no. 2901.0. Canberra: ABS.

ABS 2016. Census of Population and Housing: Understanding the Census and Census Data. ABS Cat. no. 2900.0. 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), 2019; Quality Statement Indigenous, Endorsed 07/02/2019

My items Help on this term
Download Help on this term