1200.0.55.009 - Ancestry Standard, 2014, Version 2.1  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/08/2014   
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This document was added 06/15/2018.



COLLECTION METHODS

DETAILED QUESTION MODULE

This question module is recommended for all household based surveys and other statistical and administrative collections designed to collect data on Ancestry. When used in conjunction with Country of Birth and language variables, it provides detailed information about the ethnic diversity of the Australian population.

The standard question module for obtaining detailed data for Ancestry is:

Q. What is [your] [the person's] [(name)'s] Ancestry?
Provide up to two ancestries only.
Examples of 'Other – please specify' are: Spanish, Vietnamese, Hmong, Welsh, Kurdish, Maori, Lebanese, Australian South Sea Islander.

English
Irish
Scottish
Chinese
Italian
German
Indian
Greek
Dutch
Australian
Other – please specify: ..........................................................
..........................................................
..........................................................
..........................................................

The list of ancestries provided with this question module reflects the most common responses to this question from the previous Census. It is recommended that 'Australian' be positioned last in the pick list of responses, before 'Other – please specify', to encourage respondents to consider the question and other ancestries with which they may identify. This list ensures compatibility across collections and is used to minimise coding costs. It will be reviewed periodically as different ancestries assume a greater or lesser significance in the Australian context. The note 'Provide up to two ancestries only' may be modified to suit the number of ancestries to be collected for the purposes of the survey or Census.

The list of ancestries can be truncated should space on the collection instrument be an issue. If the list of ancestries is truncated, the ancestries omitted from the list should be added as examples of 'Other – please specify' above the truncated list.

The 'Other' category is included for those people who have an ancestry or ancestries not offered in the list as a response to the question. 'Please specify' is added to the 'Other' category and a space is provided for respondents to write in their ancestry response(s).

Each ancestry response will need to be matched with an appropriate entry in the Australian Standard Classification of Cultural and Ethnic Groups (ASCCEG) using a coding index. Coding indexes are tools that support categorisation of information against a statistical classification and contain terms that are not officially recognised (e.g. synonyms and misspelt terms). A coding index may be of use to anyone seeking to code responses to a statistical classification and may be requested by contacting standards@abs.gov.au.

All responses to questions about ancestry that are coded to ASCCEG use the coding rules detailed on the 'Index for Coding Responses' page of the ASCCEG. Responses are matched with entries in an ASCCEG coding index to determine the correct classification code.

BASIC QUESTION MODULE

If space constraints prevent the full question from fitting onto the question form then the tick boxes can be removed and a space can be provided for ancestry responses to be entered by the respondent. A consequence of this modification to the question format will be the addition of significant coding costs to the collection of the data. In this case each response will need to be matched with an appropriate entry in an ASCCEG coding index (see Index for Coding Responses) which may be requested by contacting standards@abs.gov.au. As a result of the additional coding costs the shortened question format is likely to be appropriate only for certain limited collections. Some examples of the appropriate application of the shortened question format are as follows: small scale data collection activities, situations in which data entry of verbatim responses is an administrative requirement, and situations in which optical character recognition data capture technologies are used which allow automatic matching of response data with index entries. The shortened question module is represented below:

Q. What is [your] [the person's] [(name)'s] Ancestry?
For example: English, Irish, Hmong, Kurdish, Italian, Greek, Maori, Vietnamese.
(Provide more than one ancestry if necessary.)


Ancestry:..........................................................
..........................................................
..........................................................
..........................................................

Since the above questions are subject to an ongoing program of testing in ABS collections and are subject to change, it is recommended that agencies wishing to collect Ancestry in their own data collection activities contact the ABS before implementing this standard. If you have any queries, you can email the Statistical Standards and Infrastructure Section at the Australian Bureau of Statistics at the following address: standards@abs.gov.au. The ABS Privacy Policy outlines how the ABS will handle any personal information that you provide to us.