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Glossary

Age-specific

A measure relating to an age group.

Asian ethnicity

People who identify with an Asian ethnicity (eg Chinese, Indian, Korean) with or without other ethnicities. Because ethnicity is self-perceived, people can identify with an Asian ethnicity even though they are not descended from an Asian ancestor. Conversely, people may choose to not identify with an Asian ethnicity even though they are descended from an Asian ancestor.

Census night population count

A count of all people present in a given area on a given census night. The census night population count of New Zealand includes visitors from overseas who are counted on census night, but excludes New Zealand residents who are temporarily overseas.

For a subnational area, the count includes visitors from overseas and elsewhere in New Zealand (people who do not usually live in that area), but excludes residents of that area who are temporarily elsewhere on census night (people who usually live in that area but are absent).

Census usually resident population count

A count of all people who usually live in a given area, and are present in New Zealand, on a given census night. The census usually resident population count of New Zealand excludes visitors from overseas and excludes New Zealand residents who are temporarily overseas.

For a subnational area, the count excludes visitors from overseas and elsewhere in New Zealand (people who do not usually live in that area), but includes residents of that area who are temporarily elsewhere in New Zealand on census night (people who usually live in that area but are absent).

Cohort

A group of people sharing a common demographic experience. For example, the 1900 birth cohort refers to the people who were born in the year 1900.

Death

The permanent disappearance of all evidence of life at any time after live birth has taken place (postnatal cessation of vital functions without capability of resuscitation). This definition therefore excludes foetal deaths.

Death (mortality) rate

The number of deaths relative to the exposed-to-risk population, often expressed as a rate per 1,000 population.

Estimated de facto population

An estimate of all people present in a given area at a given date. The estimated de facto population of New Zealand includes all people present in New Zealand and counted by the census (census night population count). This estimate includes visitors from overseas who are counted on census night, but excludes New Zealand residents who are temporarily overseas.

For a subnational area, the estimate includes visitors from overseas and elsewhere in New Zealand (people who do not usually live in that area), but excludes residents of that area who are temporarily elsewhere on census night (people who usually live in that area but are absent).

The estimated de facto population at a given date after census includes births, deaths and net migration (arrivals less departures) of people during the period between census night and the given date.

De facto population estimates are no longer produced. National population estimates were produced annually (reference date at 31 December) from 1936 to 1950, and quarterly (reference dates at 31 March, 30 June, 30 September, and 31 December) from March 1951 to June 1997. Subnational population estimates were produced annually (reference date at 31 March) to 1995.

Estimated resident population

An estimate of all people who usually live in a given area at a given date. The estimated resident population of New Zealand includes all residents present in New Zealand and counted by the census (census usually resident population count), residents who are temporarily overseas (who are not included in the census), and an adjustment for residents missed or counted more than once by the census (net census undercount). Visitors from overseas are excluded.

For a subnational area, the estimate excludes visitors from overseas and elsewhere in New Zealand (people who do not usually live in that area), but includes residents of that area who are temporarily elsewhere on census night (people who usually live in that area but are absent).

The estimated resident population at a given date after census includes births, deaths and net migration (arrivals less departures) of residents during the period between census night and the given date.

National population estimates are produced quarterly (reference dates at 31 March, 30 June, 30 September, and 31 December) and subnational population estimates are produced annually (reference date at 30 June).

Ethnicity

Ethnicity is the ethnic group or groups that people identify with or feel they belong to. Ethnicity is a measure of cultural affiliation, as opposed to race, ancestry, nationality, or citizenship. Ethnicity is self-perceived and people can belong to more than one ethnic group.

An ethnic group is made up of people who have some or all of the following characteristics:

  • a common proper name
  • one or more elements of common culture which need not be specified, but may include religion, customs or language
  • unique community of interests, feelings and actions
  • a shared sense of common origins or ancestry
  • a common geographic origin.

This definition is based on the work of A Smith (1986), “The Ethnic Origins of Nations”.

People can identify with an ethnicity even though they are not descended from ancestors with that ethnicity. Conversely, people may choose to not identify with an ethnicity even though they are descended from ancestors with that ethnicity. Ethnicity is not the same as birthplace.

In the Census of Population and Dwellings, ethnicity is identified by the person completing the census form. In the case of births and deaths, ethnicity is identified by the person completing the registration form. For births this is usually the parent(s), while for deaths this is most likely to be the funeral director (on the advice of a family member).

For more information about ethnicity, refer to the Review of the Measurement of Ethnicity on the Statistics NZ website (www.stats.govt.nz) which includes information about the Statistical Standard for Ethnicity 2005.

European or Other ethnicity

People who identify with a European ethnicity (eg New Zealand European, English, Dutch) or Other ethnicity (eg New Zealander), with or without other ethnicities. Because ethnicity is self-perceived, people can identify with a European ethnicity even though they are not descended from a European ancestor. Conversely, people may choose to not identify with a European ethnicity even though they are descended from a European ancestor.

Standardised death rates have been derived for the 'European or Other (including New Zealander)' ethnic group. Standardised death rates are not available for the European ethnic group, or for the Other (including New Zealander) ethnic group. This reflects that sufficient demographic data is available to enable standardised death rates to be derived for the combined ethnic grouping, but not for the separate ethnic groups. This approach is consistent with Guidelines for Using Ethnicity Data: 2006 Census, available on the Statistics NZ website (www.stats.govt.nz).

Exposed-to-risk population

People able to experience a particular event (eg death) often because of specific characteristics (eg age, sex, geographic location).

Foetal death

Death prior to the complete expulsion or extraction from its mother of a product of conception, irrespective of gestation, by either spontaneous abortion (miscarriage), induced abortion, or stillbirth. Death is indicated by the fact that after such separation the foetus does not breathe or show any other evidence of life, such as beating of the heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord, or definite movement of voluntary muscles.

Infant death

The death of a child (who was born alive) before the age of one year.

Life expectancy

The average length of life remaining at a given age. In a period life table, it is the average length of life from a given age, assuming people experience the age-specific mortality rates of a given period from the given age onwards. In a cohort life table, it is the average length of life from a given age, of people born in a given period, based on the mortality rates actually experienced by them from that given age onwards.

Life expectancy at birth

The average length of life of a birth cohort. In a period life table, it is the average length of life of newborn babies, assuming they experience the age-specific mortality rates of a given period throughout their life. In a cohort life table, it is the average length of life of people born in a given period, based on the mortality rates actually experienced by them throughout their life.

Life table

A tabular numerical representation of mortality and survivorship of a cohort of births at each age. It comprises an array of measures, including probabilities of death, probabilities of survival, and life expectancies at various ages.

Complete life tables present life table functions for each single year of age, while abridged life tables present life table functions for age groups.

Current, period, or cross-sectional life tables are based on current mortality rates. These tables assume that as a cohort passes through life it experiences a given pattern of age-specific mortality rates, which do not change from year to year. Although it is usually based on death rates from a real population during a particular period of time, these tables are a hypothetical model of mortality as they do not describe the real mortality that characterises a cohort as it ages.

Cohort, longitudinal, or generation life tables are based on the actual mortality experience of a particular cohort (eg all people born in the year 1900). These tables require data over many years, from infancy to the oldest age lived by the cohort (ie until the death of the last survivor).

Live birth

The birth of a child who breathes or shows any other evidence of life, such as beating of the heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord, or definite movement of voluntary muscles, whether or not the umbilical cord has been cut or the placenta is attached. Each product of such a birth is considered liveborn. All liveborn infants should be registered and counted as such, irrespective of gestation or whether alive or dead at the time of registration. If they die at any time following birth they should also be registered and counted as deaths.

Longevity

Length of life.

Māori ethnicity

People who identify with the Māori ethnicity with or without other ethnicities. Because ethnicity is self-perceived, people can identify with Māori ethnicity even though they are not descended from a Māori ancestor. Conversely, people may choose to not identify with Māori ethnicity even though they are descended from a Māori ancestor.

Mean population

The average number of people in an area during a given period, usually a year. This measure may be estimated in terms of a simple or weighted arithmetic mean of monthly or quarterly population during the reference period. If the mean population is unavailable, the population at the midpoint of the period is generally suitable for most purposes.

Mortality

The death of individuals in a community.

Net census undercount

The difference between undercount and overcount. It is usually expressed as a percentage of what should have been the complete count rather than as a percentage of what was counted. The 1996, 2001, and 2006 post-enumeration surveys estimated net census undercount to be 1.6 ± 0.2, 2.2 ± 0.3, and 2.0 ± 0.4 percent, respectively (sample errors at the 95 percent level).

Non-Māori ethnicity

People identifying with an ethnicity excluding those who identified with Māori ethnicity.

Pacific ethnicity

People who identify with a Pacific ethnicity (eg Samoan, Tongan, Fijian) with or without other ethnicities. Because ethnicity is self-perceived, people can identify with a Pacific ethnicity even though they are not descended from a Pacific ancestor. Conversely, people may choose to not identify with a Pacific ethnicity even though they are descended from a Pacific ancestor.

Post-enumeration survey

A sample survey to check the accuracy of coverage and/or response of another census or survey. A post-enumeration survey was conducted after each of the 1996, 2001, and 2006 Censuses of Population and Dwellings to check the coverage of each census.

Radix

The original size of the birth cohort of a life table, usually set at 100,000 for convenience.

Resident population concept

A statistical basis for a population in terms of those who usually live in a given area at a given time. The census usually resident population count is a census measure of the resident population concept, and the estimated resident population is a demographic measure of the resident population concept. In terms of vital statistics, the resident population concept refers to events that relate to residents of New Zealand only.

Resident temporarily overseas

A person who usually lives in New Zealand but who is overseas for a period of less than 12 months. In census statistics, a resident temporarily overseas is a person who is identified on the census dwelling form as usually living in that dwelling but who is overseas for a period of less than 12 months. In international travel and migration statistics, a resident temporarily overseas is someone who is mainly living in New Zealand for 12 months or more, who is overseas for a period of less than 12 months.

Standardised death rates

The overall death rate that would have prevailed in a standard population if it had experienced the age-specific (usually age-and-sex-specific) death rates of the population or area being studied. The standardised death rates presented in this report use the direct method of standardisation, and indicate the number of deaths per 1,000 population for each ethnic group/area and each period, if each ethnic group/area had a standard population (the estimated resident population of New Zealand at 30 June 1996).

Subnational

Geographical units of a country (eg area units, territorial authority areas, regional council areas, urban areas) whose boundaries are defined for administrative, legal, or statistical purposes.

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