Census of Population and Housing 1981: Persons Sample File

What is the PSF?

Conditions of issue

Using the data

Description of variables - frequency distributions

Sampling errors associated with statistics produced from the sample files

Download an .rtf version of documents related to the PSF


What is the PSF?

The Persons Sample File (PSF) is designed for users with the need for data at the State level. It contains census data for a one per cent sample of unidentified persons. The usual residence at 30 June 1981 of each selected person is coded to Capital City Statistical Division/Balance of State within NSW, Victoria, Queensland, SA and WA; Tasmania; or the combined Territories. No other geographic reference appears on the file, and records are randomly ordered within each of these areas. To allow for this coding of persons to geographic area, the detail for some of the variables has been reduced to avoid the release of identifiable information.

The sample was selected systematically by choosing every one hundredth person record ordered into a geographic hierarchy of State by statistical division by local government area by collection district. Ten subsamples were chose by allocating the first selected person to the first subsample, the second person to the second subsample, and so on. The file was then sorted into subsample order.

There are 145,763 person records, each of 65 characters in length, containing 40 variables of persons and dwellings information.

Conditions of issue

Sample files of census unit record data are released in accordance with a Ministerial Determination (Statutory Rules 1983 No. 19) in pursuance of Section 13 of the Census and Statistics Act 1905. As required by the Determination, the sample files have been designed so that the information on the

files does not enable the identification of the particular persons to whom it relates.

In pursuance of Clause 7, the Determination requires clients to sign a Form of Undertaking stating that the information will be used for statistical purposes only. A copy of the Undertaking Form is attached.

Use of data for statistical purposes means use by the person or organisation to produce information of a statistical nature. Examples of such uses are:

(a) the manipulation of data to produce means, correlations or other descriptive or summary measures:

(b) the estimation of population characteristics from sample data;

(c) the use of the data as input to mathematical models and for other types of analyses (e.g. factor analysis); and

(d) to provide graphical and pictorial representations of characteristics of the population or sub-sets of the population.

The following are examples of non-statistical purposes:

(a) transmitting or allowing access to the unit record data in part or whole to any other person/organisation (other potential users of the data for statistical purposes must therefore make separate application to the ABS);

(b) transmitting of, or allowing access to any other person/organisation to, any information based on the unit record data which comprises only 1 record; and

(c) attempting to match unit record data in whole or part with any other information for the purposes of identifying individuals.

Use of the data for improper purposes may render the user liable to severe penalties.

Statistical tables, graphs, etc., obtained from analysis of these sample files may be further disseminated provided that the ABS client, or its customer, agrees:

(i) to indicate that the ABS is the source of the data used;

(ii) not to attribute any analysis or transformation of the data to the ABS; and

(iii) to use the terminology currently used by the ABS for describing data.

PCSF81/4

UNDERTAKING MADE IN PURSUANCE OF CLAUSE 7 OF THE

DETERMINATION UNDER CENSUS AND STATISTICS ACT, 1905

(STATUTORY RULES 1983, NO 19)

In pursuance of Clause 7 of the Statutory Rules 1983, No 19,I,

(Name of person)

acting within the scope of authority exercisable by me in accordance with arrangements approved by

(Name of organisation)

hereby undertake that

(Name of organisation)

will use the unidentified individual 1981 Population Census records provided by the Australian Statistician, referred to as Households Sample File or Persons Sample File, for statistical purposes only.

I recognise that these records are being released under the provisions of a Ministerial Determination which is authorised by subsections 13(1) and (2) of the Census and Statistics Act 1905, and I recognise that under subsection 19(2) of the Census and Statistics Act 1905 failure to comply with this undertaking is an indictable offence, punishable on conviction by a fine not exceeding $5,000 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years, or both.

(Clause 7 of Statutory Rules 1983, No 19 and subsections 13(1), 13(2) and 19(2) of the Census and Statistics Act 1905 are reprinted in full on the reverse side of this Undertaking.)

Signed...........................................................................................Date..........................................

Address.........................................................................................................................................

Position In organisation...................................................................................................................

Witnessed by...............................................................................................................................

Name and position..........................................................................................................................

....................................................................................................................................................

Date.............................................

CLAUSE 7, STATUTORY RULES 1983, NO. 19

Disclosure of unidentified information

7 (1) Information in the form of individual statistical records may, with the approval in writing of the Statistician, be disclosed where -

(a) all identifying information such as name and address has been removed;

(b) the information is not likely to enable the identification of the particular person or organisation to which it relates; and

(c) the Statistician has been given a relevant undertaking for the purposes of this clause.

(2) A reference in paragraph (1) (c) to a relevant undertaking shall be read as a reference to an undertaking in writing by -

(a) in the case of information to be disclosed to a person, being an individual - that person;

(b) in the case of information to be disclosed to an official body - the responsible Minister in relation to, or a responsible officer of, that official body; or

(c) in the case of information to be disclosed to an organisation other than an official body - a responsible officer of that organisation,

that the information will be used for statistical purposes only.

SUBSECTIONS 13 (1) AND (2), CENSUS AND STATISTICS ACT 1905

Release of information

13 (1) Notwithstanding anything in this Act (other than this section). the Minister may, by instrument in writing, make determinations providing for and in relation to the disclosure, with the approval in writing of the Statistician, of information included in a specified class of information furnished in pursuance of this Act.

(2) Without limiting the generality of sub-section (1), determinations may make provision -

(a) as to the person to whom the information may be disclosed;

(b) as to the persons, being the persons from whom the information has been obtained, whose consent is required tor the disclosure of the information; and

(c) specifying terms and conditions subject to which the information may be disclosed, including, but without limiting the generality of the foregoing, terms and conditions as to the requiring of a person to whom the information is, or is to be, disclosed to give an undertaking. in writing with respect to the disclosure of the information by that person, including an undertaking not to disclose any of the information to any person.

SECTION 19 (2), CENSUS AND STATISTICS ACT, 1905

(2) A person who contravenes sub-section (1) or fails to comply with an undertaking of the kind referred to in paragraph 13 (2) (c) given by him in relation to information disclosed to him in accordance with a determination is guilty of an indictable offence punishable on conviction by a fine not exceeding $5,000 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 2 years, or both.

Using the data

Any counts derived from this file should be multiplied by 100 to obtain estimates of the total number of persons or households in the population with the same characteristics. All estimates so obtained are subject to sampling error and the sampling error on small cells can be very high. More details are contained in "Sampling errors associated with statistics produced from the sample files".

To assist in the validation of estimates produced from the sample file, some basic estimates obtained by the ABS from the file are:

Total persons 14,576,300

Total persons aged 15 years and over 10,900,300

Total overseas born persons 3,035,700

Total employed persons 6,290,700

Total married persons 6,560,300

Total persons in rented dwellings 3,208,900

To assist further in validation, seven pages of 34 census tables containing statistics for total Australia are contained in "Condensed Format Summary Tables for Australia (download .rtf version)". These tables were produced from the census unit record file, not from the sample file, and therefore do not contain any sampling error.

For details on the person and dwelling characteristics included in the file, refer to "Making Sense of Census 81"

 

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