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Australian Data Archive
Study Information Content
Study TitleAnnual Aboriginal Census,1921-1944 - Australia
Series NameAustralian Aboriginal Census
Primary InvestigatorGordon Briscoe Len Smith
ADA IDau.edu.anu.ada.ddi.20002-aus
AbstractThis study contains time series of data of the Annual Aboriginal Census for Australia, Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia from 1921 to 1944. The file au.edu.anu.ada.ddi.20002-aus is the data for the Australia. Special care notice: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, researchers and other users should be aware that material in this dataset may contain material that is considered offensive. The data has been retained in its original format because it represents an evidential record of language, beliefs or other cultural situations at a point in time. The Annual Aboriginal Census is considered as a significant official source of Aboriginal population statistics. It was conducted annually in June from 1921 to 1944, exempting the war years between 1941 and 1944 in each State and Territory. The 1944 census was incomplete with New South Wales not taking part at all. Enumeration of Aboriginal populations was poor and difficulties in classification occurred. The Census was a collaboration of the Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics who initiated the study, State and Territory Statisticians, the Protector of Aborigines, and local police officers who conducted the enumeration. The Annual Aboriginal Census is also referred to as the Annual Census of Aborigines and Police Census. The enumeration for the Annual Aboriginal Census was conducted by Local Police officers within their Police District. This was conducted with no self-identification by those enumerated but classified by the local police officers making the census, a population summary with no unit record data collected. Due to the frequent use of rounded number figures have been suggested to be rough estimates. The Conference of Statisticians, Sydney, 1925 resolved that the future Annual Aboriginal Census would include; number and distribution of 'full-bloods', number and distribution of 'half-castes' living with 'full-bloods', males and females, adults and children, and whether nomadic, in regular employment or in protected camps. Changes to classification also occurred at the Statisticians' Conference in Perth in 1926. It was resolved that 'persons of mixed blood living with aboriginals should be classed as 'half-caste' aboriginals, whatever be the degree of the white strain' and that 'persons of mixed blood not living with aboriginals shall be 'half-caste' if strains are approximately equal, as 'full blood' if the predominant strain is aboriginal, and not included at all if the predominant strain is white'. Previous to this no definition was giving for determination of 'half-caste' enumeration. The Statistician's Conference in Hobart in 1928 furthered the classification of social and employment status, children of persons in employ were classed as 'other' and those in both 'regular employ' and 'in supervised camps' would be classed only as in 'regular employ'. In 1939 the Queensland statistician insisted the counting of Torres Strait Islander people be separated from Aboriginal counts. Leonard Smith, obtained Annual Aboriginal Census state level data with his work with the National Population Inquiry and as a part of his PH.D thesis. An ARC grant in conjunction with Gordon Briscoe allowed local area data to be obtained. Data came in format of copies of the original collection forms, tabulation sheets and published bulletins of results. The data was obtained from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, and the Commonwealth, State and Territory Archives.
Bibliographic CitationG.Briscoe and L.Smith. Australian Aboriginal Census,1921-1944. [computer file]. Canberra: Australian Data Archive, The Australian National University, 2011.
CopyrightCopyright © 2011, Australian National University. All rights reserved.
ContributorCommonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics
Study Scope Content
Topic ClassificationsIndigenous
KeywordsAborigines;Aboriginal history;Census;Torres Strait Islanders
Population (Universe)Total Universe of Persons deemed to be Australian Aboriginal 1921-1944
Date of Collection
Start date - Data Collection: 1921-01-01 End date - Data Collection: 1921-01-01
Time Period
Time Period - Start: 1921-01-01 Time Period - End: 1921-01-01
Geographic CoverageNational
Geographic UnitState/Territory
Methodology Content
Sampling ProcedureNo sampling (total universe)
Data KindCensus data
Response RateNot applicable
Data Access Content
Access ConditionsThe depositor may be informed (by the archive) of use being made of the data, in order to comment on that use and make contact with colleagues of similar interests.
Deposit Information Content
DepositorGordon Briscoe & Len Smith
Deposit Date2011-07-22
VersionVersion 1.0
Other Content
Unit of AnalysisIndividual
Mode of Data CollectionObservation
CommentThis study contains time series of data of the Annual Aboriginal Census for Australia, Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia from 1921 to 1944. The file au.edu.anu.ada.ddi.20002-aus is the data for the Australia. Special care notice: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, researchers and other users should be aware that material in this dataset may contain material that is considered offensive. The data has been retained in its original format because it represents an evidential record of language, beliefs or other cultural situations at a point in time. The Annual Aboriginal Census is considered as a significant official source of Aboriginal population statistics. It was conducted annually in June from 1921 to 1944, exempting the war years between 1941 and 1944 in each State and Territory. The 1944 census was incomplete with New South Wales not taking part at all. Enumeration of Aboriginal populations was poor and difficulties in classification occurred. The Census was a collaboration of the Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics who initiated the study, State and Territory Statisticians, the Protector of Aborigines, and local police officers who conducted the enumeration. The Annual Aboriginal Census is also referred to as the Annual Census of Aborigines and Police Census. The enumeration for the Annual Aboriginal Census was conducted by Local Police officers within their Police District. This was conducted with no self-identification by those enumerated but classified by the local police officers making the census, a population summary with no unit record data collected. Due to the frequent use of rounded number figures have been suggested to be rough estimates. The Conference of Statisticians, Sydney, 1925 resolved that the future Annual Aboriginal Census would include; number and distribution of 'full-bloods', number and distribution of 'half-castes' living with 'full-bloods', males and females, adults and children, and whether nomadic, in regular employment or in protected camps. Changes to classification also occurred at the Statisticians' Conference in Perth in 1926. It was resolved that 'persons of mixed blood living with aboriginals should be classed as 'half-caste' aboriginals, whatever be the degree of the white strain' and that 'persons of mixed blood not living with aboriginals shall be 'half-caste' if strains are approximately equal, as 'full blood' if the predominant strain is aboriginal, and not included at all if the predominant strain is white'. Previous to this no definition was giving for determination of 'half-caste' enumeration. The Statistician's Conference in Hobart in 1928 furthered the classification of social and employment status, children of persons in employ were classed as 'other' and those in both 'regular employ' and 'in supervised camps' would be classed only as in 'regular employ'. In 1939 the Queensland statistician insisted the counting of Torres Strait Islander people be separated from Aboriginal counts. Leonard Smith, obtained Annual Aboriginal Census state level data with his work with the National Population Inquiry and as a part of his PH.D thesis. An ARC grant in conjunction with Gordon Briscoe allowed local area data to be obtained. Data came in format of copies of the original collection forms, tabulation sheets and published bulletins of results. The data was obtained from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, and the Commonwealth, State and Territory Archives.
Study Creation Date2011-08-10 21:46:18 UTC
Data CollectorsLocal Police Officers
Bibliographic Citation (documentation)G.Briscoe and L.Smith. Australian Aboriginal Census,1921-1944. [computer file]. Canberra: Australian Data Archive, The Australian National University, 2011.
Copyright (documentation)Copyright © 2011, The Australian National University. All rights reserved.
Producer (documentation)Australian Data Archive
Title (documentation)Australian Aboriginal Census, 1921-1944 - Australia
WeightingNo Weighting
ADA IDau.edu.anu.ada.ddi.20002-aus
LabelAnnual Aboriginal Census,1921-1944 - Australia
Languageen
CountriesAustralia
Type of Research InstrumentStructured
ADA Processing LevelLevel 2
ADA Study LevelLevel 2
Version Date2011-07-22
Version ResponsibilityAustralian Data Archive
Time MethodTime series
WeightingNo Weighting
CasteGroup Return to 20002-aus   Arrow_up
Name Val Range Min Val Range Max
CasteGroup
Misc.
Update Creation Date: 2011-08-11 17:22:55 UTC
Study Creation Date: 2011-08-10 21:46:18 UTC
Data File ID: au.edu.anu.ada.ddi.20002-aus_C1
Format: character
Format Schema: other
Variable ID: 1261378
Interval: discrete
Label: CasteGroup
Variable Name: CasteGroup
Nesstar ID: au.edu.anu.ada.ddi.20002-aus_V1
Invalid Cases: 0
Valid Cases: 2070
Variable Position: 1
ADA ID: au.edu.anu.ada.ddi.20002-aus
Database Study ID: 4141
Updated At: 2011-08-11 17:22:55 UTC
Variable ID: V1
Variable Width: 9
Sex Return to 20002-aus   Arrow_up Arrow_down
Name Val Range Min Val Range Max
Sex
Misc.
Update Creation Date: 2011-08-11 17:22:44 UTC
Study Creation Date: 2011-08-10 21:46:18 UTC
Data File ID: au.edu.anu.ada.ddi.20002-aus_C1
Format: character
Format Schema: other
Variable ID: 1261376
Interval: discrete
Label: Sex
Variable Name: Sex
Nesstar ID: au.edu.anu.ada.ddi.20002-aus_V2
Invalid Cases: 0
Valid Cases: 2070
Variable Position: 2
ADA ID: au.edu.anu.ada.ddi.20002-aus
Database Study ID: 4141
Updated At: 2011-08-11 17:22:44 UTC
Variable ID: V2
Variable Width: 7
AgeGroup Return to 20002-aus   Arrow_up Arrow_down
Name Val Range Min Val Range Max
AgeGroup
Misc.
Update Creation Date: 2011-08-11 17:22:50 UTC
Study Creation Date: 2011-08-10 21:46:18 UTC
Data File ID: au.edu.anu.ada.ddi.20002-aus_C1
Format: character
Format Schema: other
Variable ID: 1261377
Interval: discrete
Label: AgeGroup
Variable Name: AgeGroup
Nesstar ID: au.edu.anu.ada.ddi.20002-aus_V3
Invalid Cases: 0
Valid Cases: 2070
Variable Position: 3
ADA ID: au.edu.anu.ada.ddi.20002-aus
Database Study ID: 4141
Updated At: 2011-08-11 17:22:50 UTC
Variable ID: V3
Variable Width: 8
EmploymentStatus Return to 20002-aus   Arrow_up Arrow_down
Name Val Range Min Val Range Max
EmploymentStatus
Misc.
Update Creation Date: 2011-08-11 17:22:25 UTC
Study Creation Date: 2011-08-10 21:46:18 UTC
Data File ID: au.edu.anu.ada.ddi.20002-aus_C1
Format: character
Format Schema: other
Variable ID: 1261373
Interval: discrete
Label: EmploymentStatus
Variable Name: EmploymentStatus
Nesstar ID: au.edu.anu.ada.ddi.20002-aus_V4
Invalid Cases: 0
Valid Cases: 2070
Variable Position: 4
ADA ID: au.edu.anu.ada.ddi.20002-aus
Database Study ID: 4141
Updated At: 2011-08-11 17:22:25 UTC
Variable ID: V4
Variable Width: 5
Living Conditions Return to 20002-aus   Arrow_up Arrow_down
Name Val Range Min Val Range Max
LivingConditions
Misc.
Update Creation Date: 2011-08-11 17:22:32 UTC
Study Creation Date: 2011-08-10 21:46:18 UTC
Data File ID: au.edu.anu.ada.ddi.20002-aus_C1
Format: character
Format Schema: other
Variable ID: 1261374
Interval: discrete
Label: Living Conditions
Variable Name: LivingConditions
Nesstar ID: au.edu.anu.ada.ddi.20002-aus_V5
Invalid Cases: 0
Valid Cases: 2070
Variable Position: 5
ADA ID: au.edu.anu.ada.ddi.20002-aus
Database Study ID: 4141
Updated At: 2011-08-11 17:22:32 UTC
Variable ID: V5
Variable Width: 5
Year Return to 20002-aus   Arrow_up Arrow_down
Name Val Range Min Val Range Max
Year
Misc.
Update Creation Date: 2011-08-11 17:22:37 UTC
Study Creation Date: 2011-08-10 21:46:18 UTC
Data File ID: au.edu.anu.ada.ddi.20002-aus_C1
Format: character
Format Schema: other
Variable ID: 1261375
Interval: discrete
Label: Year
Variable Name: Year
Nesstar ID: au.edu.anu.ada.ddi.20002-aus_V6
Invalid Cases: 0
Valid Cases: 2070
Variable Position: 6
ADA ID: au.edu.anu.ada.ddi.20002-aus
Database Study ID: 4141
Updated At: 2011-08-11 17:22:37 UTC
Variable ID: V6
Variable Width: 4
Enumeration Return to 20002-aus   Arrow_up Arrow_down
Name Val Range Min Val Range Max
Enumeration
Misc.
Update Creation Date: 2011-08-11 17:22:19 UTC
Study Creation Date: 2011-08-10 21:46:18 UTC
Data File ID: au.edu.anu.ada.ddi.20002-aus_C1
Format: character
Format Schema: other
Variable ID: 1261372
Interval: discrete
Label: Enumeration
Variable Name: Enumeration
Nesstar ID: au.edu.anu.ada.ddi.20002-aus_V7
Invalid Cases: 0
Valid Cases: 2070
Variable Position: 7
ADA ID: au.edu.anu.ada.ddi.20002-aus
Database Study ID: 4141
Updated At: 2011-08-11 17:22:19 UTC
Variable ID: V7
Variable Width: 9
Race Return to 20002-aus   Arrow_up Arrow_down
Name Val Range Min Val Range Max
Race
Misc.
Update Creation Date: 2011-08-11 17:22:15 UTC
Study Creation Date: 2011-08-10 21:46:18 UTC
Data File ID: au.edu.anu.ada.ddi.20002-aus_C1
Format: character
Format Schema: other
Variable ID: 1261371
Interval: discrete
Label: Race
Variable Name: Race
Nesstar ID: au.edu.anu.ada.ddi.20002-aus_V8
Invalid Cases: 0
Valid Cases: 2070
Variable Position: 8
ADA ID: au.edu.anu.ada.ddi.20002-aus
Database Study ID: 4141
Updated At: 2011-08-11 17:22:15 UTC
Variable ID: V8
Variable Width: 22
State Return to 20002-aus   Arrow_up Arrow_down
Name Val Range Min Val Range Max
State
Misc.
Update Creation Date: 2011-08-11 17:22:09 UTC
Study Creation Date: 2011-08-10 21:46:18 UTC
Data File ID: au.edu.anu.ada.ddi.20002-aus_C1
Format: character
Format Schema: other
Variable ID: 1261370
Interval: discrete
Label: State
Variable Name: State
Nesstar ID: au.edu.anu.ada.ddi.20002-aus_V9
Invalid Cases: 0
Valid Cases: 2070
Variable Position: 9
ADA ID: au.edu.anu.ada.ddi.20002-aus
Database Study ID: 4141
Updated At: 2011-08-11 17:22:09 UTC
Variable ID: V9
Variable Width: 22
numberofpersons Return to 20002-aus   Arrow_up Arrow_down
Name Val Range Min Val Range Max
numberofpersons
Misc.
Update Creation Date: 2011-08-11 17:22:03 UTC
Study Creation Date: 2011-08-10 21:46:18 UTC
Data File ID: au.edu.anu.ada.ddi.20002-aus_C1
Decimal Places: 0
Format: numeric
Format Schema: other
Variable ID: 1261369
Interval: contin
Label: numberofpersons
Variable Name: numberofpersons
Nesstar ID: au.edu.anu.ada.ddi.20002-aus_V10
Variable Position: 10
ADA ID: au.edu.anu.ada.ddi.20002-aus
Database Study ID: 4141
Updated At: 2011-08-11 17:22:03 UTC
Variable ID: V10
Arrow_down
Name Val Range Min Val Range Max
numberofpersons#Mean
Misc.
Update Creation Date: 2011-08-11 17:21:57 UTC
Study Creation Date: 2011-08-10 21:46:18 UTC
Data File ID: au.edu.anu.ada.ddi.20002-aus_C1
Decimal Places: 0
Format: numeric
Format Schema: other
Variable ID: 1261368
Interval: discrete
Variable Name: numberofpersons#Mean
Nesstar ID: au.edu.anu.ada.ddi.20002-aus_V11
Invalid Cases: 0
Valid Cases: 2070
Variable Position: 11
ADA ID: au.edu.anu.ada.ddi.20002-aus
Database Study ID: 4141
Updated At: 2011-08-11 17:21:57 UTC
Variable ID: V11

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