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2970.0.55.020 - 2001 Census of Population and Housing - Fact Sheet: The Retention ('Time Capsule') Option, 2001  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 03/06/2002  First Issue
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The Retention (‘Time Capsule’) Option

General Demographic Characteristics of Persons who Agreed to the Retention of their Name-Identified Census Information

Introduction

For the first time in an Australian census, the 2001 Census included an option for respondents to agree to their name-identified personal details being kept for 99 years and then made publicly available. This was referred to as the 'Time Capsule Project'.

The forms of persons who explicitly agreed to having their details retained in the ‘Time Capsule’ were scanned and the images of these forms have been stored securely for release in August 2100. Name-identified information will not be available for any purpose within the 99 year closed access period, including via official requests by a court or tribunal.

If a person did not explicitly agree to their name-identified personal census information being retained, their name and address details were destroyed once statistical processing was completed.

State / Territory

The rate of retention, Australia-wide, was 52.7%.

The ACT had the highest rate of agreement (60.2%) for retention of name-identified details. The lowest rate (48.9%) was in the NT.


Table 1: State/Territory by Retention

No. of Persons
% Retained
% Not Retained
Total%
NSW
6,371,745
53.3
46.7
100
Vic
4,644,950
52.4
47.6
100
Qld
3,655,139
51.2
48.8
100
SA
1,467,261
52.1
47.9
100
WA
1,851,252
52.7
47.3
100
Tas
456,652
57.7
42.3
100
NT
210,664
48.9
51.1
100
ACT
311,947
60.2
39.8
100
OT*
2,740
54.1
45.9
100
Australia
18,972,350
52.7
47.3
100

* Other Territories


Sex and Marital Status

Almost the same proportion of males (52.5%) as females (52.9%) agreed to their details being retained.

The majority (56.2%) of people who were married agreed to their details being retained. 50.4% of those who were widowed, separated or divorced agreed to their details being retained, as did 51.2% of persons who had never been married and were 15 years of age or over.

Figure 1: Marital Status by Retention
Graph - Figure 1: Marital Status by Retention



Age

While respondents in the broad spectrum of age groups were more likely to agree to their details being retained than not, the trend differed as ages neared the two poles - the very young (10 years of age or younger) and the very old (80 years or older).

Figure 2: Age by Retention
Graph - Figure 2: Age by Retention


Agreement for details being retained reached its peak at the 60-69 year age group, with 55.7% agreeing. The rate of agreement was lowest for children under five years of age (44.6%), and for those aged 90 years or more, the rate was 46.3%.

Nearly half (49%) of respondents who were under 15 years of age agreed to the retention of their name-identified census information.

Household Type

The rate of agreement to details being retained was highest in Family Households, at 55.0%. The rate of form retention in Lone Person Households was 51.7%, and 50.4% in Group Households.

Income

Agreement to the retention of name-identified details is closely related to socio-economic status. The rate of agreement to form retention generally increased with income level, from 53.6% of those who did not receive an income through to 65.2% of those in the top income group of '$1,500 or more' per week.

The rate of agreement, 58.5% for the $1-$79 income bracket, is inconsistent with the general pattern. It is interesting to note that nearly half (48.6%) of respondents in this income bracket who agreed to their details being retained were aged 15-19 years, with the vast majority of these (93.7%) being students.

Figure 3: Income by Retention
Graph - Figure 3: Income by Retention


Computer / Internet

A relatively high number of persons who stated that they used a computer at home (59.9%) or the Internet at home, work or elsewhere (60.8%), agreed to their details being retained.

Indigenous Status

Nearly half (49.3%) of Indigenous people agreed to their details being retained, compared to 55.1% of Non-Indigenous persons.

Birthplace

Note: Analysis of the ‘Birthplace of Individual’ question (BPLP) was limited to fully defined categories with at least 100 000 responses.

The most likely groups to agree to their details being retained were people born in England (60.4%), Scotland (60.4%) and Australia (55.4%). Conversely, those with the lowest rates of agreement were persons born in Viet Nam (42.4%), Greece (45.0%) and China (45.3%).

Figure 4: Birthplace by Retention
Graph - Figure 4: Birthplace by Retention



The rate of agreement to their details being retained was higher for people whose parents had both been born in Australia (56.5%), than for people with both parents born overseas (52.7%).

Language

Note: Analysis of the ‘Main Language Spoken at Home’ question (LANP) was limited to fully defined categories with at least 100 000 responses.

These trends were echoed when looking at the data related to main language spoken at home.

The rate of agreement to their details being retained was highest for English speaking respondents, at 56.3%. The rate for Arabic speakers was the next highest, but still noticeably less, at 50.2%. This was followed by Italian (46.5%), Mandarin (44.6%), Greek (44.1%) and Vietnamese (42.9%). The Cantonese speaking population had the lowest rate of agreement, at 37.3%.

Figure 5: Language by Retention
Graph - Figure 5: Language by Retention



Ancestry

Note: Analysis of the ‘Ancestry’ question (ANCP) was limited to fully defined categories with at least 100 000 responses. Also note that the ‘Ancestry’ question (ANCP) had multiple response options, with a maximum of two responses being coded per person.

The highest rates of agreement to their details being retained occurred in persons reporting Scottish (61.7%), Irish (61.4%) or Indian (59.4%) descent, with 'Australian' ranked ninth at 55.8%. Least likely to agree that their details be retained were those of Chinese (41.3%), Vietnamese (43.4%) or Greek (45.4%) descent.

Figure 6: Ancestry by Retention
Graph - Figure 6: Ancestry by Retention


Religion

Note: Analysis of the ‘Religion’ question (RELP) was limited to fully defined categories with at least 100 000 responses.

The highest rates of agreement to their details being retained in terms of responses to the Religion question occurred in the Uniting Church (60.7%), Anglican (59.2%), Presbyterian (58.0%), Baptist (56.6%) and Catholic (55.9%) faiths. Conversely, the lowest rates were evident in respondents who marked Greek Orthodox (45.1%), Buddhism (45.8%) or Islam (50.9%) as their religious belief.

Figure 7: Religion by Retention
Graph - Figure 7: Religion by Retention




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