1200.0.55.006 - Age Standard, 2014, Version 1.7  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 11/03/2014  First Issue
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COLLECTION METHODS

STANDARD QUESTION MODULE

In most collections, 'Age' can be derived from a single question.

The ideal question for most collections is:

      Q. What was [your] [the person's] [(name)'s] date of birth?
For self enumerated questionnaires, the recommended format for the collection of age data is:
      Date of Birth: dd / mm / yyyy
'Date of Birth' can easily be converted to completed days, weeks, months and years as required and it should be used wherever possible (see measurement issues).
In some collection methodologies this question may not be feasible and alternative questions are:
      Age last birthday?

      What was [your] [the person's] [(name)'s] age last birthday?

      What is [your] [the person's] [(name)'s] age in complete years?

Each question module may be accompanied by a brief explanatory note giving detailed instructions about how to answer the Age question. The explanatory note can be included with the chosen question module or in supplementary documentation. The explanatory note is in Appendix A.

Age details can also be obtained from administratively produced data and can usually be derived using date of birth as this provides the best data quality. Age data are taken from the relevant records and documents such as school and employment data and hospital records. Because the manner in which age data is derived varies across administrative collections, it is recommended to use date of birth wherever possible.

STANDARD INPUT CATEGORIES

For input categories, it is recommended that collections use 'date of birth' as the first preference and 'complete years' as the second.

Age should be stored at the most detailed level possible (date of birth or complete years) to provide flexibility in the cross classification with other variables, derivation of new data items, and production of output categories.