Individual Characteristics

Age

Persons were asked to state age in accordance with the following instructions.

    State age in years and completed months. If aged under one year, state age in completed months (for example, a child of eleven months should be shown as 0 years '11' months). If aged under one month, write 'O' years 'O' months.

This question is more specific than that asked at the 1961 Census, which sought 'age last birthday' (in years). The change should overcome some mis-statement of age due to rounding. Similarly, it is expected that confusion in the reporting of ages of young children (which are conventionally thought of in 'months' up to the age of about two years) should be now largely obviated.

Prior to the 1954 Census ages 'not stated' were tabulated as such for urban and rural sections of each State and later distributed to specific ages in accordance with the frequency of stated ages. If the 1954 and later Censuses, 'not stated' ages were individually estimated prior to tabulation by first establishing the minimum range of ages within which the 'not stated' age most probably lay (as indicated by other information supplied in the Householder's Schedule) and by then selecting an age from within that range from a table of random ages according to sex. This table had been compiled previously using the latest estimates of the age distribution of the population which were available at the time.

The proportion of persons who failed to state an age is very small.

Marital status

Persons were asked to state marital status in accordance with the following instructions.

    If never married, write 'N.M.'; at present married, write 'M'; married but permanently separated (legally or otherwise), write 'P.S.'; divorced and not remarried, write 'D'; widowed and not remarried, write 'W'.

A very small proportion of persons omitted to state any marital status. In such cases, marital status was assessed as follows. Males under 20 years of age and females under 18 years of age were classified 'never married' unless there was definite evidence of marriage given in the Schedule, in which case they were classified 'married'. All other persons were classified 'married' if there was any evidence of marriage given in the Schedule. Otherwise a marital status was allocated from a random list according to the age and sex of the person concerned. The random list for the allocation of 'not stated' marital status had been compiled previously using the latest available statistics of the distribution of the population by marital status.

Religion

Persons were asked to state their religion in accordance with the following instructions.

    State the full name of the religious denomination. (There is no penalty for failure to answer this question).

Section 21 of the Census and Statistics Act 1905-1966 provides that 'No person shall be liable to any penalty for omitting or refusing to state the religious denomination or sect to which he belongs or adheres.'

Owing to the very large numbers of persons who take advantage of the voluntary nature of the question and who failed to give any particulars regarding religion at the 1966 Census and at the three preceding Censuses, it is not possible to define precisely the composition of the population in terms of religious creed; neither is it possible to make entirely satisfactory intercensal comparisons of the numbers of persons adhering to the various religious denominations.

Birthplace

Persons were asked to state birthplace in accordance with the following instructions.

    For persons born in Australia write name of the State or Territory where born. For persons born outside Australia write the name of the country where born (not town or locality).

For the small number of cases where no reply was given, the allocation of a birthplace was made in accordance with other information on the Schedule (usually nationality).

Nationality

Persons were asked to state nationality in accordance with the following instructions.

    State nationality or citizenship of the person in relation to the country to which he or she owes legal allegiance. for example: 'Australian', 'British', French', Stateless', etc. If Australian or British by naturalisation, write 'Australian' or 'British'.

This section relates to nationality rather than to citizenship and consequently the category 'British' includes all persons who, by virtue of the Nationality and Citizenship Act 1948-1906, are deemed to be British subjects. Under Section 7 of the Act this includes citizens of: '(a) the United Kingdom and Colonies; (b) Canada; (c) New Zealand; (d) the Union of South Africa; (c) India; (f) Pakistan; (g) Ceylon; (h) the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland (i) Ghana; (j) the Federation of Malaya; (k) the State of Singapore'.

Also included as 'British' are persons who, under the Nationality and Citizenship Act 1948 - 1966, are Australian citizens or citizens of any other country declared by Regulation 5A of the Citizenship Regulations to be 'a country within the Commonwealth of Nations'. These are the Federation of Nigeria, the Republic of Cyprus, Sierra Leone, Tanganyika, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, Jamaica, and Malaysia.

In the small number of cases where nationality was not stated, allocation of a selected nationality was made in accordance with other information on the Schedule (usually birthplace).

Race

The use of self-enumeration methods in Australian censuses has repeatedly produced problems when attempting to obtain details of an individual's race or racial origin. This stems largely from the inability of most people to readily identify themselves with a particular race defined in ethnic terms. In Australia, this is further complicated by the presence in the population of a large migrant group of diverse ethnic origins. The practice, therefore, has been to seek details of a person's race based on a geographical rather than an ethnological definition. The term European is used to cover those ethnic or racial groups (e.g.. Caucasian, Slavonic, Celtic, Latin) which have their origins in the countries of Europe while terms such as "Afghan", "Filipino", etc. cover those ethnic groups normally to be found in the countries of Afghanistan and the Philippines, etc.

Information relating to the racial composition of the population was collected for the first time at the Census of 1911. At censuses prior to 1966 the instructions relating to race were insufficient to enable respondents to classify themselves according to the degree of racial mixture. For example, from 1933 to 1961 persons-were asked the following question:

    For persons of European race, wherever born, write European. For non-Europeans state the race to which they belong, for example, "Aboriginal", "Chinese", "Negro", "Afghan", etc. If the person is half -caste with one parent of European race, write also "H.C.", for example "H.C. Aboriginal", "H. C. Chinese" etc.

At the 1966 Census the instructions were re-designed as follows in an endeavour to obtain precise data on racial mixture and also to avoid the opprobrium attaching to the term halfcaste:

    "State each person's race. For persons of European race, wherever born, write European. Otherwise state whether Aboriginal, Chinese, Indian, Japanese, etc., as the case may be. If of more than one race give particulars, for example, half-European-half Aboriginal, half-Aboriginal-half-Chinese, half-European-half-Chinese".

Australian Aborigines

The coverage of Aborigines has improved progressively from census to census as the number of Aborigines in contact with population centres has increased and as improved methods of overcoming the collection problems have been developed.

At the 1966 Census extensive arrangements were made to obtain as full a coverage of Aborigines as possible and to enumerate fully those Aborigines out of contact . Throughout Australia the assistance of Aboriginal welfare bodies, mission superintendents, station owners, patrol officers and police was sought. In particular, in the Northern Territory, information was obtained from missions and settlements concerning Aborigines normally residing at such locations but absent at the time of the Census, and of Aborigines residing at sublocations but who normally resided elsewhere. The two sets of information were reconciled and, together with the normal enumeration in other areas, resulted in a fairly complete and accurate coverage of Aborigines in the Northern Territory.

Prior to the 1966 Census, Aborigines out of contact were not enumerated and estimates of these were made by authorities responsible for Aboriginal welfare. It is estimated that at the 1954 Census 12,956 Aborigines (Northern Territory-5,369, Western Australia-3,516, Queensland-2,311 and South Australia-1,760) were not contacted by census collectors and were not included in the census. Increasing numbers came into contact after 1944 and at the 1961 Census it is estimated that only 2,000 Aborigines in Northern Australia and 1,944 in the Northern Territory were not contacted.

The reporting by Aborigines in the 1966 Census was insufficiently precise to differentiate persons who were exactly half Aboriginal from those who were more than half Aboriginal.

Additionally, the totals for persons who were half or more than half Aboriginal may be suspect, primarily because of the inclusion of persons who described themselves simply as Aboriginal even though they were less than half Aboriginal, and also because of the inclusion under European of persons who were half Aboriginal and half European but who stated their race as European.

Persons reported as full-blood Aborigines at the 1966 Census have been excluded from general Census tables. Details of the totals for each race (including Aborigines) with no dissection into full-blood and half-blood are reported in Volume 1., Part 11, Race.

Education

At the 1966 Census persons were asked to state the highest level of schooling completed in accordance with the instructions below. This question had not been asked at previous censuses.

NEW SOUTH WALES

    For each person state the highest level of schooling completed. If passed at Leaving or Matriculation level write 'M'. If passed at Intermediate level write 'J' . If attended secondary school (e g high technical non-Government) but passed no examinations at Intermediate level or above write 'H'. If attended or completed infants' or primary school or passed final primary examinations such as Qualifying Certificate (Q C ). Merit or High School Entrance write 'P'. If never attended school write 'N'.
VICTORIA
    For each person state the highest level of schooling completed. If passed at Leaving or Matriculation level write 'M'. If passed at Intermediate level write 'J'. If attended secondary school (e g high technical non-Government) but passed no examinations at intermediate or above write 'H'. If attended or completed infants' or primary school or passed final primary examinations such as Qualifying Certificate (QC) or Merit write 'P'. If never attended school write 'N'.
QUEENSLAND
    For each person state the highest level of schooling completed. If passed at Senior or Matriculation level, write 'M'. If passed at Junior level, write 'J'. If attended secondary school (e.g. high, technical, non-Government) but passed no examinations at Junior level or above, write 'H'. If attended or completed infants' or primary school or passed final primary examinations such as the Scholarships or High School Entrance, write 'P'. If never attended school, write 'N'.
SOUTH AUSTRALIA
    For each person state the highest level of schooling completed. If passed at Leaving or Leaving Honours level, write 'M'. If passed at Intermediate level, write 'J'. If attended secondary school (e.g. high, technical, non-Government) but passed no examinations at Intermediate level or above, write 'H'. If attended or completed infants' or primary school or passed final primary examination such as Qualifying Certificate (Q.C.), Progress Certificate or Inspectors' Examination, write 'P'. If never attended school, write 'N'.
WESTERN AUSTRALIA
    For each person state the highest level of schooling completed. If passed at Leaving or Matriculation level, write 'M'. If passed at Junior level, write 'J'. If attended secondary school (e.g. high, technical, non - Government post primary) but passed no examinations at Junior level or above, write 'H'. If attended or completed infants' or primary school or passed final primary examinations such as Qualifying Certificate (Q.C.), or Scholarship, write 'P'. If never attended school, write 'N'.
TASMANIA
    For each person state the highest level of schooling completed. If passed at Matriculation or Schools Board (A and B certificate) level, write 'M'. If passed at Secondary School Certificate or Schools Board (Certificate) level, write 'J'. If attended secondary school (e.g., high, technical, non-Government) but passed no examinations at Secondary School Certificate level or above, write 'H'. If attended or completed infants' or primary school or passed final primary examinations such as Qualifying Certificate (Q.C.), Scholarship or Merit, write 'P'. If never attended school write 'N'.
NORTHERN TERRITORY
    For each person state the highest level of schooling completed. If passed at Leaving, Matriculation, Senior or Schools Board (A and B certificate) level, write 'M'. If passed at Intermediate, Junior or Secondary School Certificate level, write 'J'. If attended secondary school (e.g. high, technical. non-Government, post primary) but passed no examination at Intermediate, etc., level or above, write 'H'. If attended or completed infants' or primary school or passed final primary examinations such as Qualifying Certificate (Q.C.), Merit High School Entrance, Scholarship, etc., write 'P'. If never attended school, write 'N'.
AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY
    For each person state the highest level of schooling completed. If passed at Leaving, Matriculation, Senior or Schools Board (A and B certificate) level, write 'M'. If passed at Intermediate, Junior or Secondary School Certificate level, write 'J'. If attended secondary school (e.g. high, technical, non-Government, post primary) but passed no examination at Intermediate, etc., level or above, write 'H'. If attended or completed infants' or primary school or passed final primary examinations such as Qualifying Certificate (Q. C.), Merit, High School Entrance, Scholarship, etc., write 'P'. If never attended school, write 'N'.

Persons who received their highest level of schooling overseas, or in another Australian State or Territory were asked to give what they considered to be the equivalent in terms of the above categories.

It was intended that persons attending secondary school who had not passed examinations at Intermediate level should answer 'H'. However, this intention was obscured by the use of the past tense in the instruction, with the result that some secondary school students were either recorded as having attended primary school ('P') or the level of schooling was not stated.

To provide for this misunderstanding, all 12, l3 and 14 year olds shown as 'P' were redistributed as 'P' or 'H' in proportion with age distributions obtained from the Department of Education.

In the cases where education level was not stated for children aged 0-l6 years the level was determined as follows. Children aged 0-11 years were classified 'never attended school' or 'primary' according to relevant information on the Schedule (particularly activity). Children aged 12-14 years were allocated in accordance with the proportion of children of each age in primary and secondary school as recorded by the Department of Education during the intercensal period. Children aged 15 or 16 years were classified 'secondary' where other information on the Schedule showed them to be still attending school.

Qualifications

In addition to the above, which relates to level of schooling, persons with qualifications received after completion of formal schooling were required to supply information in accordance with the following instructions.

    State the person's qualifications, trade training or other qualifications and the institution at which obtained. eg.. Bachelor of Engineering, University of Sydney; Diploma of Architecture, South Australian Institute of technology; A.A.S.A.; Certificate of Management Hobart TechnicaI College; Five years' Apprenticeship.

The information obtained was used to determine two additional levels of completed education, namely: University degree and other tertiary qualifications. Particulars of individual qualifications are not available.

 

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