Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Census results are out.

The 2016 Census results have been released today. 27 June 2017.  Not bad for timeliness, especially considering the chaos around collection day.

A note of caution:  I have subsequently discovered that the boundaries of State Suburbs have been substantially revised in this area since 2011.  The names haven't changed however so I only picked this up later when comparing population sizes and wondered why Hoskinstown and Primrose Valley had shrunk so much.  So be wary of material for State Suburb level.

It also appears that the ABS has got its servers sorted out as when I tried to get data (about 90 minutes after the release) I was able to
  • download a General Profile for Carwoola 2016; and
  • get data for a table for Carwoola 2011 through Table Builder.
So my concerns - following the release of the TableBuilder shells - appear to have been allayed, at least as far as the capacity of ABS systems.

I haven't really got into the data yet but the age profile looks quite similar between the two censuses.
Considering the polynomial line it seems to have moved up an age class, which I'd expect with a pretty stable population having got 5 years older between the two counts.

Of some small concern is an apparent decline in population between the two censuses.  In 2011 there were 1433 people counted in Carwoola which had declined to 1418 by 2016.  There are two broad ways in which this could have occurred:
  1. a net drop in the number of occupied dwellings; or
  2. a decrease in the average number of people per dwelling.
My observation around the area is that there has been a reasonable increase in the number of letterboxes which I know in some cases has meant that new houses have been built.  I suspect there have also been some extra dwellings built in the development at the end of Wanna Wanna Rd.  Thus I am inclined to doubt reason 1.  Fortunately information is available from the Census on the number of dwellings.

I am not aware of any non-private dwellings in the area although it appears that there were a small number (it appears in the results as 3, but this may be an artifact of the confidentiality processes) found in both Censuses.  However I will ignore this and focus on the private dwellings
2016 2011
Occupied private dwellings 452 464
Unoccupied private dwellings 40 36
Total private dwellings 495 500

This suggests a net decrease of 5 dwellings between the two censuses. and a drop of 12 occupied dwellings.  This contradicts my view expressed above that there was likely to have been an increase in dwellings between the two censuses (although I am less confident that all the dwellings were occupied on Census night).

What I did observe after the Census was a high proportion (~20% from memory) of the letterboxes to which I deliver the Stoney Creek Gazette contained copies of the Census Form labelled "Final Reminder".  Since it seemed that the Census Collector for that area didn't visit houses but just dropped the forms and other correspondence in the letterbox I strongly suspect that:
  • he (I met the person at one point so can attest to his sex) will have missed any dwellings that didn't have a letterbox (including ours since I had removed the box as we were travelling away for a period around the Census - we completed the form in a caravan park near Rockhampton); and
  • If the form wasn't removed from the letterbox when the Collector came back the property was regarded as either not having a dwelling or at best an unoccupied dwelling.  
All in all I am not very happy about these data!  I also note

  1. an article by Bill McLennan, former Australian Statistician, expressing some doubts about whether the quality of the data can actually be established; and
  2. the report of the Census Independent Assurance Panel which appears to give the count an rating of OK.  They do however qualify their findings:
"Given the limited time and data availability, the Panel made this assessment at the national and state and/or territory levels for selected variables. Specifically, it was not possible to assess the accuracy of statistics for small geographic areas." (emphasis added).

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