Small Area Social Indicators for the Indigenous Population: Synthetic Data Methodology for Creating Small Area Estimates of Indigenous Disadvantage

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Working Paper


The lack of data on how the social condition of Indigenous people varies thoroughout Australia has created difficulties in allocating government and community programs across Indigenous communities. In the past, spatial microsimulation has been used to devise small area estimates to oversome such difficulties. However, for previous applications, a record unit file from a survey dataset has always been available on which to conduct the spatial microsimulation. For the case of Indigenous disadvantage, this record unit file was not available due to the scarcity of the Indigenous population in Australia, and concerns from the ABS about confidentialisiing the file. This study offers a solution to this problem by proposing the building of a synthetic unit record file with observations that sum to the population totals from the actual survey file.  A spatial microsimulation approach is then applied to this synthetic unit record file and the results are validated.


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