News

Was the Census really a success?

HAVE you given up on this year's Census?

It may not have gone completely to the dogs despite a plethora of problems.

University of the Sunshine Coast senior lecturer of social science and statistics expert Doctor Peter Innes said the 93% completion rate announced by the Census team was still an extremely impressive figure.

He said survey participation above 90% provided a great level of reliability, provided that is, that this year's Census didn't miss out one particular demographic unable to or unwilling to fill out the survey.

"Typical response rates (to surveys) can be very low," Dr Innes said.

"In research terms, it's (the Census participation rate) excellent. Anywhere over 90% heading towards 95% of a population ... that's always going to give you fantastic indicators."

But Dr Innes prefaced his comments with a salient point.

If the technical issues and controversy over data being collected had driven a specific group away from completing the survey, the data produced would be skewed.

"If it's (non-participation) systematic (rather than random) it's a problem because it represents a bias," Dr Innes said.

"If non-responses are random it's not going to be a problem, the data indicators will still be okay (as any bias would be washed out)."

He was surprised at the rate of completion, recalling a week post-Census only about 50% of his class of 150 students had completed the survey.

Dr Innes wasn't sure whether the problems that affected the Census would impact on the actual responses given, but said he believed the population acknowledged and grasped how important Census participation was.

"We're (Australia) up there in terms of really strong participation for whatever reason (either avoiding fines or a sense of responsibility)," he said.

His guess was a fair, random distribution of people would be among the non-participants, but added it was probably too early to tell how reliable the data was until it had been assessed.

"If they lose a type of person (from the data) well that's going to be a problem," he said.

The Census return date wraps up tomorrow although hard copies would still be accepted through return mail.

Fifty percent of respondents to a survey on the Daily's website so far said they hadn't filled out the survey and didn't intend to.

Topics:  census 2016, data, editors picks, statistics, sunshine coast



Family shares heartache of young Mackay man's suicide

Reece Rebetzke with his girlfriend Vanessa Shelley

Everyone left behind feels 'guilty'

Fishmonger scaling heights of stardom

TALENTED SINGER: Ruby Mills from Bundaberg's Red Shed Seafood has been selected for the X Factor and heads of to Sydney for live auditions.

Bundy girl has the X Factor

Photo prizes on offer for National Water Week

Money up for grabs with water photos

Local Partners

Girls actors give emotional tributes to hit show

Actor Allison Williams

Actors farewell smash hit HBO show Girls after six seasons

Janet Jackson's pregnancy is 'best thing'

Janet Jackson

Janet Jackson can't wait to become a mum

Jay Z signs two-year movie and TV deal

Rapper Jay Z

Rapper Jay Z has signed a television and movie deal

Nowhere to Hyde: Matt Nable is Australia's man in demand

Matt Nable stars as Detective Gary Hyde in the TV series Hyde & Seek.

NABLE returns to the small screen amidst busy film work.

Marvel's Luke Cage S1E7: Manifest review

Mike Colter in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage. Supplied by Netflix.

*WARNING: spoilers if you haven't seen Marvel's Luke Cage*

Marvel's Luke Cage S1E6: Suckas Need Bodyguards review

Rosario Dawson and Mike Colter in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage. Supplied by Netflix.

*WARNING: spoilers if you haven't seen Marvel's Luke Cage*

Beach-side real estate starts at $85k on Fraser Coast

HERVEY BAY REAL ESTATE: You can buy this townhouse in Scarness for under $300k.

Live your beach-living dream locally.

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

Developers boost confidence in Bundaberg property market

Slow and steady growth has always been Bundaberg’s way

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

First stages of $25 million housing development underway

New development on Madsen Rd - The Springs.

The blocks of land are much bigger than usual