NZ Level 6 (NZC) Level 1 (NCEA)
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Real Life statistics - Society
Lesson

In ancient Rome, a religious ceremony called the lustrum was overseen by an official called the  censor whose duties included, among other things, maintaining a register of citizens. This registration coincided with the lustrum and was carried out at intervals of five years. Hence, the word lustrum has come to mean a period of five years.

In Australia, as in ancient Rome, a census is conducted with the same frequency. Starting in 1991 this has been done at five yearly intervals, so any year that ends in a 1 or a 6 is a census year.

The census is carried out by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. It is needed for planning purposes for such things as the setting of electoral boundaries and the equitable distribution of resources. Apart from a count of people in each dwelling on census night, questions are asked of each household that are intended to inform public policy making.

Since information is collected on every person in the population, the census is accurate in comparison with what can be discovered by means of a sample survey. 

The Australian Bureau of Statistics also collects data through surveys and in the form of what is called administrative by-product data. Care is needed in interpreting the latter since it relates to people who have had contact with administrative bodies such as the courts or various government departments, but it gives no information about the general population.

A great many data series are made available by the ABS that are useful for planning that is done by businesses and government and that are of interest for social researchers.

Worked Examples

QUESTION 1

State whether the following statement is true or false:

  1. 'Administrative by-product data' can be used to compile statistics from information which has already been collected for another reason.

    True

    A

    False

    B

    True

    A

    False

    B

QUESTION 2

State whether the following statement is true or false:

  1. In a sample survey, information is obtained from the entire population.

    True

    A

    False

    B

    True

    A

    False

    B

Outcomes

S6-1

Plan and conduct investigations using the statistical enquiry cycle: A justifying the variables and measures used B managing sources of variation, including through the use of random sampling C identifying and communicating features in context (trends, relationships between variables, and differences within and between distributions), using multiple displays D making informal inferences about populations from sample data E justifying findings, using displays and measures.

91035

Investigate a given multivariate data set using the statistical enquiry cycle

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