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Ethnicity New Zealand Standard Classification 2005: Summary of second version

The Ethnicity New Zealand Standard Classification 2005 (‘the classification’) has not been updated since its release in 2005.

Stats NZ has now completed work to update the classification and keep it relevant, and has delivered an updated classification version in time for the 2018 Census: Ethnicity New Zealand Standard Classification 2005 V2.0.0.

Read Classifications and related statistical standards: Ethnicity 

Scope of change

What we included in the scope of this work (inclusions) were:

  • adding emerging and/or new categories at level 4 (the most detailed level) to reflect high counts over previous censuses
  • adding emerging and/or new categories at level 4 to reflect real-world change
  • removing categories with low counts over previous censuses (to ensure confidentiality and privacy considerations continue to be maintained).

What we didn’t include in the scope of this work (limits and exclusions) were:

  • conceptual changes 
  • structural changes (the way in which ethnicities are grouped/aggregated) 
  • definitional changes, including clarifying category scope and revising any inclusions or exclusions
  • codefile updates not related to changes at level 4.

The changes to the classification described in this paper are the result of analysis of descriptor and synonym counts from the 2006 and 2013 Censuses, alongside advice from internal and external experts and users. We have also attempted to eliminate the use of colonial terminology at the formal descriptor level.

In general, elevation of synonyms to the descriptor/category level is due to significant counts from both the 2006 and 2013 Censuses. Similarly, the absorption of descriptors into broader categories is due to low counts in these censuses.

These trends give us confidence that the changes we’ve made will continue to be relevant, and that temporary migration patterns do not influence the classification at a particular moment in time.

Absorbing descriptors with low counts into broader categories also ensures data on ethnicity remains confidential. Read 2013 Census confidentiality rules and how they are applied for more information.

See Descriptor changes for more-detailed discussion about instances where the following changes have occurred:

  • Where existing descriptor labels were changed.
  • Where non-residual descriptors (ie descriptors that are not ‘nec’ categories) have absorbed former descriptors.

Changes to the classification

Synonyms elevated to descriptor level

 V1.0.0 code  V1.0.0 descriptor  V1.0.0 synonym  V2.0.0 code  V2.0.0 descriptor
 41499  Southeast Asian nec  Karen  41416  Karen
 41499  Southeast Asian nec  Chin  41417  Chin
 43199  Indian nec  Malaysian Indian  43118  Malaysian Indian
 43199  Indian nec  South African Indian  43119  South African Indian
 44499  Asian nec  Bhutanese  44417  Bhutanese
 44499  Asian nec  Maldivian  44418  Maldivian
 44499  Asian nec  Mongolian  44419  Mongolian
 53199  African nec  Burundian  53123  Burundian
 53199  African nec  Congolese  53124  Congolese
 53199  African nec  Sudanese  53125  Sudanese
 53199  African nec  Zambian  53126  Zambian
 Note:
 nec not elsewhere classified

Descriptor changes

 V1.0.0 code  V1.0.0 descriptor  Description of the changes  V2.0.0 code  V2.0.0 descriptor
 12948 South African nec

Changed descriptor to ‘South African European’, to address increased uncertainty that responses of ‘South African’ without any further detail are correctly allocated to group 1 (European).

However, ‘South African’ remains a synonym of this category to address immediate time-series concerns. Over time, and with the development of new collection methods (such as ‘as-you-type’ functionality on electronic forms), we hope to capture the desired level of detail, and that uncertainty will fade over how to code responses here.

12948 South African European
 12950 Zimbabwean

Changed descriptor to ‘Zimbabwean European’. This is to address increased uncertainty that responses of ‘Zimbabwean’ without any further detail are correctly allocated to group 1 (European).

Accordingly, we have introduced a new descriptor, ‘Other Zimbabwean’, in group 5 – MELAA.

 12950 Zimbabwean European
 53127 Other Zimbabwean
 32100 Cook Islands Maori nfd

Removed ‘nfd’ – this category now covers all other descriptors currently grouped under Cook Islands Maori at the higher level.

Counts at a lower level of detail have been very low, with the exception of ‘Rarotongan’. Many issues contribute to this, most significant being the format of the current ethnicity question, which provides a tick box for ‘Cook Island Maori’, dissuading respondents from writing in further information. However, a change to the question is out of scope of this work and would be the subject of a major review.

Changes to the descriptors in the classification will not influence the way that respondents answer. Accordingly, we will direct users who require a lower level of detail to obtain a customised report, which can provide counts at synonym level. However, this data should be treated with caution given the question issue already described.

 32100 Cook Islands Maori
 37112 Australian Aboriginal

Changed to ‘Indigenous Australian’.

‘Indigenous Australian’ satisfies both identification with indigeneity and origin.

 37112 Indigenous Australian
 41413 Laotian Changed descriptor to ‘Lao’ to correct ethnic term. 41413 Lao
 53118 West Indian

Replaced 53118 West Indian with Caribbean.

Caribbean had significant counts over the 2006 and 2013 Censuses and allows us to move away from colonial terminology in the descriptor.

 53118 Caribbean
 61113 North American Indian

Changed to ‘Indigenous American’ to move away from colonial terminology.

This descriptor now encompasses the ‘Central American Indian’, ’South American Indian’, and ‘Inuit’ categories due to low counts in these categories.

 61113 Indigenous American
61117 South African Coloured

Changed descriptor to ‘Other South African’.

This change is primarily to remove the term ‘coloured’ from the descriptor, and to capture South African responses not allocated to group 1.

 61117 Other South African

Note:
MELAA Middle Eastern/Latin American/African
nec not elsewhere classified
nfd not further defined

Descriptors that have shifted to synonym level (codefile level)

 V1.0.0 code  V1.0.0 descriptor  V2.0.0 code  V2.0.0 descriptor/category for synonym
 12115 Gaelic 12199  British nec
 12118 Orkney Islander 12199  British nec
 12120 Shetland Islander 12199  British nec
 12917 Corsican 12999  European nec
 12925 Greenlander 12999  European nec
 12936 Sardinian 12999  European nec
 12944 Burgher 12999  European nec
 12946 Falkland Islander 12999  European nec
 32111 Aitutaki Islander 32100 Cook Islands Maori
 32112 Atiu Islander 32100 Cook Islands Maori
 32113 Mangaia Islander 32100  Cook Islands Maori
 32114 Manihiki Islander 32100 Cook Islands Maori
 32115 Mauke Islander  32100 Cook Islands Maori
 32116 Mitiaro Islander 32100 Cook Islands Maori
 32117 Palmerston Islander 32100 Cook Islands Maori
 32118 Penrhyn Islander 32100 Cook Islands Maori
 32119 Pukapuka Islander 32100 Cook Islands Maori
 32120 Rakahanga Islander 32100 Cook Islands Maori
 32121 Rarotongan 32100 Cook Islands Maori
 37111 Admiralty Islander 37199 Pacific Peoples nec
 37113 Austral Islander 37199 Pacific Peoples nec
 37114 Palau Islander 37199 Pacific Peoples nec
 37115 Bismark Archipelagoan 37199 Pacific Peoples nec
 37116 Bougainvillean 37199 Pacific Peoples nec
 37117 Caroline Islander  37199 Pacific Peoples nec
 37118 Easter Islander 37199 Pacific Peoples nec
 37119 Gambier Islander  37199 Pacific Peoples nec
 37120 Guadalcanalian 37199 Pacific Peoples nec
 37121 Chamorro 37199 Pacific Peoples nec
 37123 Kanak 37199 Pacific Peoples nec
 37125 Malaitian 37199 Pacific Peoples nec
 37126 Manus Islander 37199 Pacific Peoples nec
 37127 Marianas Islander 37199 Pacific Peoples nec
 37128 Marquesas Islander 37199 Pacific Peoples nec
 37129 Marshall Islander 37199 Pacific Peoples nec
 37131 New Britain Islander 37199 Pacific Peoples nec
 37132 New Georgian 37199 Pacific Peoples nec
 37133 New Irelander 37199 Pacific Peoples nec
 37134 Banaban 37199 Pacific Peoples nec
 37136 Phoenix Islander 37199 Pacific Peoples nec
 37139 Santa Cruz Islander 37199 Pacific Peoples nec
 37142 Torres Strait Islander 37112 Indigenous Australian (new descriptor)
 37143 Tuamotu Islander 37199 Pacific Peoples nec
 37146 Wake Islander 37199 Pacific Peoples nec
 37147 Wallis Islander 37199 Pacific Peoples nec
 37148 Yap Islander 37199 Pacific Peoples nec
 43113 Gujarati 43199 Indian nec
 51121 Libyan 51199 Middle Eastern nec
 51123 Omani  51199 Middle Eastern nec
 51126 Tunisian 51199 Middle Eastern nec
 51128 Yemeni 51199 Middle Eastern nec
 52116 Costa Rican 52199 Latin American nec
 52117 Latin American Creole 52199 Latin American nec 
 52119 Guatemalan 52199 Latin American nec
 52120 Guyanese 52199 Latin American nec
 52121 Honduran 52199 Latin American nec
 52122 Malvinian 52199 Latin American nec
 52124 Nicaraguan 52199 Latin American nec
 52125 Panamanian 52199 Latin American nec
 52126 Paraguayan 52199 Latin American nec
 53112 United States Creole 53199 African nec
 53117 Ugandan  53199  African nec
 61111 Central American Indian 61113 Indigenous American (new descriptor)
 61112 Inuit 61113 Indigenous American (new descriptor)
 61113 North American Indian 61113 Indigenous American (new descriptor)
 61114 South American Indian 61113 Indigenous American (new descriptor)
 Note:
 nec not elsewhere classified

Next steps

While out of scope of this piece of work, changes to the structure of the classification (ie how groups are aggregated) were raised by a number of people who commented on the proposed changes. Changes of this nature, and to the question format, will form the basis for a major review in future. In the meantime, we are keen to work with users who want to aggregate ethnicities in different ways for specific purposes.

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