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Background

Census Transformation in New Zealand

In March 2012 the New Zealand Government agreed to a Census Transformation strategy. This strategy has two strands:

  • a focus in the short-to-medium term on modernising the current census model and making it more efficient
  • a longer-term focus on investigating alternative ways of producing small-area population and social and economic statistics. This includes the possibility of changing the census frequency to every 10 years, and exploring the feasibility of a census based on administrative data (Statistics New Zealand, 2012, 2014a).

The next census in 2018 will be significantly modernised, including an online completion target of 70 percent and re-use of administrative data to support collection and processing.

Continuing to meet critical information needs must underpin decisions on the future of census. Investigations into the long-term direction for census are focused on developing an understanding of future census information requirements, and the ability of administrative sources to meet those requirements.

See Census Transformation in New Zealand for more information.

About this paper

The fundamental reason for having a census is to provide population statistics that describe the size, structure, and geographic distribution of the population.

This paper describes a method for determining who is a resident in New Zealand at a given point in time using the linked administrative data sources held in Statistics New Zealand’s Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI).

We compare the resulting national population by age and sex with the official estimated resident population figures, and assess the accuracy against quality standards developed for Census Transformation.

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