ABOUT THIS RELEASE
The focus of this detailed paper is ancestry - a question that has only been asked in two Australian Censuses: in 1986 and 2001. Between those years, significant research, testing and refinement have resulted in the 2001 question content and format shown in Section 2.3 2001 Census question format.
This detailed paper analyses ancestry data quality in terms of question design, field operations, and processing issues, with a particular focus on areas that underperformed in 2001 and require further improvement. To provide a comparative measure, this paper makes regular statistical references to 1986 data. Together, information from the two snapshots provide an insight into the changing backgrounds of the Australian population. Differences between question phrasing, coding, or the classification structure have been noted.
A complementary Census Paper, titled 2001 Census: Ancestry - First and Second Generation Australians (03/01a) (ABS Cat no. 2932.0) is also available from the ABS.