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What is a classification?
People provide a wide range of responses to questions on the census form. To summarise these responses for output purposes, they are grouped into a number of categories or classes. For each topic, a list of classes is created which groups related or similar responses. This list of classes is called a classification.
F indicates a classification that records a characteristic of a family; and
P indicates a classification that describes a characteristic of a person.
Please note that the classifications listed in this directory do not include the geographic classifications used to describe the geographic areas covered by the Census. Geographic classifications formed by the aggregation of Collection Districts (CDs), such as Statistical Local Areas (SLAs), Local Government Areas (LGAs) and Electoral Divisions are described in the publication Statistical Geography Volume 2: Census Geographical Areas, Australia (Cat. no. 2905.0).
The entry for each classification includes a brief description of the variable itself, and the population to which it is applicable, a complete list of categories included in the classification, a count of the number of categories in the classification, and a description of the population to whom the variable is not applicable.
Specifying recodes and defined fields
For data purchased in customised tables, users can specify recodes and defined fields to be included in the tables.
In order to assist users to identify the classification of interest, topic and mnemonic indexes are provided. On this web site the 1996 Census Classifications have been sorted alphabetically by title. (Note that the mnemonic has been shown at the start of the name but ignored when sorting the titles.) In the actual publication released in 1996, the classifications were sorted by mnemonic in alphabetical order.