Tuesday, 5 March 2013


Because I have to, I will now talk about the Census. If you are in New Zealand, then you have to fill it out. And note that applies to everyone in New Zealand, regardless of being New Zealandarian. And if you are New Zealandarian but not in New Zealand, then you don't fill it in. And technically it's where you are at midnight, so if you want to pull a Wizard...

This raises the point about Census Population versus Residential Population. The Census population counts all the people in New Zealand at one point in time. (There is undercount and such, which is why we also run the Post-Enumeration Survey in a few months, to try to estimate the number of people we missed, and anyone we counted more than once because they were excited about filling out forms.)

Then there is the Residential Population, who is everyone who usually lives in New Zealand. And you can guess, there are differences. Census includes visitors, and Residential includes people temporarily over seas. (In fact, I know someone who is popping over to Australia this afternoon, and so will not be counted for tonight.)

Currently, we take the Census, make some shrewd corrections do to our estimates of people who were overseas, or not counted, and remove those who aren't residents, to get to our Estimated Residential Population.

And this count, broken down in all sorts of ways, will underlie a lot of policy and statistics in the years until the next Census.

So yes, it is important. And, if you are reading this, why not fill it out online (if you haven't already), and save your form collector a trip to your place.


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