IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

‘Small Area Social Indicators for the Indigenous Population: Synthetic data methodology for creating small area estimates of Indigenous disadvantage’


  • Yogi Vidyattama

    () (NATSEM, University of Canberra)

  • Robert Tanton

    () (NATSEM, University of Canberra)

  • Nicholas Biddle

    () (CAEPR, Australian National University (ANU))


The lack of data on how the social condition of Indigenous people varies throughout Australia has created difficulties in allocating government and community programs across Indigenous communities. In the past, spatial microsimulation has been used to derive small area estimates to overcome 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 confidentialising 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Yogi Vidyattama & Robert Tanton & Nicholas Biddle, 2013. "‘Small Area Social Indicators for the Indigenous Population: Synthetic data methodology for creating small area estimates of Indigenous disadvantage’," NATSEM Working Paper Series 13/24, University of Canberra, National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling.
  • Handle: RePEc:cba:wpaper:wp1124

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Robert Tanton & Yogi Vidyattama & Justine McNamara & Quoc Ngu Vu & Ann Harding, 2009. "Old, Single and Poor: Using Microsimulation and Microdata to Analyse Poverty and the Impact of Policy Change among Older Australians," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 28(2), pages 102-120, June.
    2. Dolan, Paul & Layard, Richard & Metcalfe, Robert, 2011. "Measuring subjective well-being for public policy," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 35420, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    3. Sharyn Lymer & Laurie Brown & Ann Harding & Mandy Yap, 2009. "Predicting the need for aged care services at the small area level: the CAREMOD spatial microsimulation model," International Journal of Microsimulation, International Microsimulation Association, vol. 2(2), pages 27-42.
    4. Robert Cummins, 2003. "Normative Life Satisfaction: Measurement Issues and a Homeostatic Model," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 64(2), pages 225-256, November.
    5. P Williamson & M Birkin & P H Rees, 1998. "The Estimation of Population Microdata by Using Data from Small Area Statistics and Samples of Anonymised Records," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 30(5), pages 785-816, May.
    6. P Williamson & M Birkin & P H Rees, 1998. "The estimation of population microdata by using data from small area statistics and samples of anonymised records," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 30(5), pages 785-816, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Wellbeing; synthetic data; spatial microsimulation; Indigenous people; wellbeing;

    JEL classification:

    • C15 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Statistical Simulation Methods: General
    • C63 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computational Techniques
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cba:wpaper:wp1124. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Peter Trueman). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.