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Glossary and references

Glossary

Completed year(s)

A completed year is one that consists of 12 elapsed months. Parts of years are not acceptable. A response, which gives parts of years, should be rounded down to the nearest complete elapsed year.

Long-term absence

A long-term absence refers to any absence of one year or more.

Short-term absence

A short-term absence refers to any absence of less than one year.

Usual residence

Usual residence is the address of the dwelling where a person considers himself or herself to usually reside, except in the specific cases listed in the guidelines. See Standard for usual residence.

Residual categories

Don’t know

Use of this category is discretionary. The use of a category capturing don't know responses is most applicable to household surveys where don't know may be a legitimate response to certain questions.

Refused to answer

This category is only used when it is known that the respondent has purposefully chosen not to respond to the question. Use of this residual category in processing is optional. Its use is most applicable in face-to-face or telephone interviews, but may be used in self–completed questionnaires if the respondent has clearly indicated they refuse or object to answering the question.

Repeated value

Use of this category is discretionary. It is only used for questions that allow multiple responses. It is used when a respondent has given two responses that have the same code. This may be two written responses, or one tick box response and one written response. For example, someone may tick the English language tick box response option and also write "English" in the blank space.

Response unidentifiable

This category is used when there is a response given, but:

  1. the response is illegible, or
  2. it is unclear what the meaning or intent of the response is – this most commonly occurs when the response being classified contains insufficient detail, is ambiguous or is vague, or
  3. the response is contradictory eg, both the yes and no tick boxes have been ticked, or
  4. the response is clear and seemingly within the scope of the classification but can not be coded because no suitable option (particularly other residual category options such as 'not elsewhere classified' or 'not further defined') exists in the classification or codefile.
Response outside scope

This category is used for responses that are positively identified (ie the meaning and the intent are clear) but which clearly fall outside the scope of the classification/topic as defined in the standard.

Not stated

This category is only used where a respondent has not given any response to the question asked, ie it is solely for non-response.

References

Australian Bureau of Statistics (1996). 1996 Census Dictionary, Australia.

Statistics New Zealand (1993). 1996 Census of Population and Dwellings: Preliminary Views on Content, Wellington.

United Nations (1998). Recommendations for the 2000 Censuses of Population and Housing in the ECE Region, Brussels.

Further information

For further information contact the Classifications and Standards Section.

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