Making Sense of the Census

Making Sense of the Census

Observations of the 2001 Enumeration in Remote Aboriginal Australia

Edited by: David Martin, Frances Morphy, Will Sanders, John Taylor

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Description

Special enumeration procedures for Indigenous Australians were introduced in the 1971 Census, and have been a feature of the Australian national census ever since. In 2001, as in previous years, the Indigenous Enumeration Strategy (IES) involved the use of locally recruited, mostly Indigenous, interviewers and the administration of modified forms.

This monograph presents the results of the first detailed comparative appraisal of the IES. Three CAEPR researchers observed the 2001 Census enumeration, each in a different remote-area context: Martin at Aurukun, a major Aboriginal township on Cape York Peninsula, Morphy at a small outstation community in the Northern Territory, and Sanders in the town camps of Alice Springs. The Australian Bureau of Statistics facilitated the research by granting the researchers status as official observers.

The introductory chapter by John Taylor gives a brief history of the IES and sets the context for the research. The three case-studies form the central chapters, and are followed by a concluding chapter that summarises the findings and recommendations.

While each locality had its unique characteristics, the authors found some common problems across the board which lead to general recommendations about the future design of the IES. They advocate a simplification of the enumeration procedure, the abandonment of the ‘two-form’ structure, the focusing of the IES more narrowly on people in ‘traditionally-oriented’ discrete Indigenous communities, and substantial changes in the design and content of any new ‘special Indigenous’ census form.

Details

ISBN (print):
9780975122945
ISBN (online):
9781920942021
Publication date:
Mar 2004
Note:
CAEPR Monograph No. 22
Imprint:
ANU Press
DOI:
http://doi.org/10.22459/CAEPR22.03.2004
Series:
Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research (CAEPR)
Co-publisher:
Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research (CAEPR)
Disciplines:
Social Sciences: Indigenous Studies, Statistics & Operational Research
Countries:
Australia

PDF Chapters

Making Sense of the Census »

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  1. The context for observation (PDF, 838KB)John Taylor doi
  2. Counting the Wik: the 2001 Census in Aurukun, western Cape York Peninsula (PDF, 525KB)David Martin doi
  3. When systems collide: the 2001 Census at a Northern Territory outstation (PDF, 887KB)Frances Morphy doi
  4. Adapting to circumstance: the 2001 Census in the Alice Springs town camps (PDF, 1.2MB)Will Sanders doi
  5. The Indigenous Enumeration Strategy: an overview assessment and ideas for improvement (PDF, 456KB)David Martin, Frances Morphy, Will Sanders and John Taylor doi

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