NZ considers census modernisation

By Jonathan Nally
Tuesday, 30 May, 2017

NZ considers census modernisation

The New Zealand government has allocated an extra NZ$4.5 million over the next three years for Stats NZ to look at new ways of gathering census information.

“Being able to produce census data without being tied to a five-year cycle by using existing government data would mean more information can be gathered at a lower cost and be delivered to users on a more regular basis,” said the Statistics Minister, Scott Simpson.

The target is to see whether extant information, such as births and deaths datasets, can be used in place of that gathered through the census while maintaining the confidentiality of personal information.

“The funding allows Stats NZ to develop new ways of analysing data to provide the information that New Zealand needs most. The result of this investment will be that Stats NZ can confidently recommend a census model fit for the modern data environment we now live in,” the minister said.

The work is intended to complement the traditional census, the next one of which will be held in 2018.

“Investing in how we collect and produce information about New Zealand in the future fits alongside the modernisation already underway for the 2018 Census,” the minister added.

“In next year’s census everyone will be encouraged to take part online if they can, so Stats NZ can deliver data faster and more efficiently.”

Research results are published regularly on the Stats NZ website, including experimental population estimates and technical reports on the new methods being developed.

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