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2006 Census Topics Decided

2006 Census Topics Decided

Information on fertility (the number of children born) and cigarette smoking will be included in the range of topics collected in the 2006 Census of Population and Dwellings, according to 2006 Census of Population and Dwellings: Final Report on Content, released today by Statistics New Zealand.

The smoking and fertility topics, which were last included in the 1996 Census, have a wide range of users and clear policy and research uses, requiring information for small areas or small population groups. "The census will fulfil the information needs of these data users," says Government Statistician, Brian Pink.

Disability is also to be included in the next census, subject to funding being available for a household disability survey after the census. This is consistent with the approach adopted for the 1996 and 2001 Censuses when the topic of disability was also included as a filter to select a sample for a follow-up household disability survey.

All of the other topics included in the 2001 Census will also be included in the 2006 Census. "In finalising census content for 2006, Statistics New Zealand has taken into account the role of the census in New Zealand's wider system of social statistics. This has enabled Statistics New Zealand to focus on those topics that are most appropriate for inclusion in the census," says Mr Pink.

The report contains a full list of the topics for inclusion in the next census and is the culmination of extensive consultation with census data users, which involved meetings, focus groups, workshops and a formal submission process. Mr Pink thanked everyone who took part in the consultation: "I greatly appreciate the time and input of the many organisations and individuals who contributed to the process of determining the content of the 2006 Census."

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Statistics New Zealand is now in the process of developing relevant questions and assessing possible changes within topics, as part of the general testing programme. The questionnaire for the 2006 Census will be finalised upon completion of this testing phase in March 2005, when a full dress rehearsal will be held. The next census will be held in March 2006. The report is available from all major public libraries or can be read on www.stats.govt.nz.

Brian Pink

Government Statistician

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