A natural, step, adoptive or foster mother or father of a child who is usually resident in the same household as the child.
See also Family, Family Type (FMTF), Relationship in Household (RLHP).
A relationship between two persons usually resident in the same household. The nominal child is attached to the nominal parent via a natural, adoptive, step, foster or child dependency relationship.
A person in a couple relationship with another person usually resident in the same household. The couple relationship may be in either a registered or de facto marriage, and includes same-sex couples.
See also Married-De facto, Married-Registered, Same-Sex Couple.
The calculation of gross income includes any pensions or benefits received.
See also Income (INCP).
Period of Residence
See Year of Arrival in Australia (YARP).
The following is a list of the standard person variables which are available:
Other variables can be derived using the above variables as a base. If you would like more information, please contact Client Services for your State/Territory, as listed in the back of this publication.
For Overseas Visitors only variables Age (AGEP), Sex (SEXP) and Registered Marital Status (MSTP) are available. In all other person variables an Overseas Visitor category (code V) appears in order to allow identification of overseas visitors when compiling tables.
Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Origin
Birthplace of Mother (Female Parent)
Birthplace of Father (Male Parent)
Proficiency in English/Language
Labour Force Status/Status in Employment
Registered Marital Status
Non-English Speaking Indicator
Postcode of Usual Address Census Night
Post-School Educational Qualification: Field of Study
Post-School Educational Qualification: Level of Attainment
Post-School Educational Qualification: Year Completed
Relationship in Household
Relationship in Non-Private Dwelling
Family/Household Reference Person Indicator
SLA of Usual Residence Census Night
SLA of Usual Residence One Year Ago
SLA of Usual Residence Five Years Ago
State of Usual Residence Census Night
State of Usual Residence One Year Ago
State of Usual Residence Five Years Ago
Number of Children Ever Born
Type of Educational Institution Attending
Usual Address 1 Year Ago Indicator
Usual Address 5 Years Ago Indicator
Year of Arrival in Australia
The census Personal Form records details for one person only. It contains the same questions as the Household Form (Appendix A), but excludes the household question.
The Personal Form is used:
- for households with more than six people: the Household Form accommodates six people, so one Personal Form is required to be completed for each extra person;
- for privacy: if any person in a household prefers, for privacy reasons, not to be recorded on the Household Form, then a Personal Form and a privacy envelope are issued for that person; and
See also Household Form.
Place of Birth
- in Non-Private Dwellings: one Personal Form is completed for each person in a Non-Private Dwelling on census night.
Place of Enumeration
This is where a person is located when counted on census night. See Census Count - Place of Enumeration for a more detailed description.
See also Census Counts.
Place of Usual Residence
This is where a person usually resides, which may be different to where the person is counted on census night. See Census count - Place of usual residence for a more detailed description.
See also Census counts.
Place of Work
See Address, Work Destination Zone (DZNP).
Census data are available by two conceptually different postcode definitions: Postal Area of CD of Enumeration (or CD-Derived Postal Area) and Postal Area of Usual Residence.
A Postal Area of CD of Enumeration is formed by aggregating whole collection districts (CDs) that fall within the physical boundaries of a postcode on a best fit basis. As the name implies, the data are supplied on a place of enumeration basis. This series excludes non-mappable Australia Post postcodes e.g. post office box postcodes, some postcodes which are delivery routes which are also covered by other postcodes (a situation which often occurs in rural areas), and some postcodes which, because of the application of the 'best fit' principle, do not get a CD allocated to them.
The Postal Area of Usual Residence is derived from the response to the usual residence question on the census form. The Postal Area of Usual Residence is derived automatically for those persons enumerated at their place of usual residence to the postcode allocated to the CD on a best fit basis. For persons absent from their usual residence on census night, the postcode is coded using the address information provided by the respondent.
Digital boundaries for the Postal Area of CD of Enumeration are available from the suppliers of other ABS boundary data and are also available in CDATA96. Digital Australia Post postcode boundaries are available from Australia Post.
See also Census Counts, Collection District.
Post Enumeration Survey
Since the 1966 Census, each census has been followed by a Post Enumeration Survey (PES), conducted by specially trained interviewers. Each State and Territory is included, and a sample of two-thirds of 1% of private dwellings is chosen for the survey.
The main purpose of the PES is to measure the extent of undercount in the Census. This is achieved by asking respondents if they were included on a census form for the household being interviewed, and if there were any other addresses where they may have been included in the Census. At each of these addresses (including the interview address), the personal information is matched to any corresponding census forms for these addresses to determine whether a person is counted, is counted more than once, or not counted at all.
Results obtained in the PES are used to adjust census counts in the calculation of all Estimated Resident Population (ERP) figures for Australia, as well as providing an assessment of the coverage of the census by field operations including the extent of dwellings which are missed by census collectors.
See also Estimated Resident Population, Undercounting and/or Underenumeration.
Post-School Educational Qualification
A question in which respondents report their highest level of educational achievement has been included in all censuses since the 1911 Census. In the 1966 Census, respondents were asked to provided details of the qualification title and the institution at which it was obtained. In all censuses since 1966, people aged 15 or over have been asked whether they had obtained a qualification and, if so, the qualification name, field of study and name of awarding institution. The 1971 Census also asked whether the person was currently studying for a qualification and, if so, its name.
Qualifications data are used to assess the skill level of the labour force, and potential labour force, and are valuable for the planning and implementation of labour force training programs. The Department of Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs uses the data to prepare the Occupational Demand Schedule for use by the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs in recruiting skilled migrants.
See also Post-School Educational Qualification: Field of Study (QALFP),Post-School Educational Qualification: Level of Attainment (QALLP), Post-School Educational Qualification: Year Completed (QALYP).
Post-School Education Field of Study (QALFP)
This variable describes the field of study of the highest post-school educational qualification obtained. The full 1996 classification is contained in Section 1 - 1996 Census Classifications.
The full classification for levels of attainment and fields of study, together with an explanation of the conceptual basis of the classification, can be found in the publication ABS Classification of Qualifications (ABSCQ) (Cat. no. 1262.0).
The responses on name of awarding institution are used only to assist coding.
The main reference for the coding of qualifications is the ABS Classification of Qualifications Manual Coding System (1265.0). The index contains the names of all known qualifications currently obtainable in Australia at the time of the Census; past qualifications no longer awarded but still reported; and a list of the more commonly encountered overseas qualifications. A number of commonly reported awards not appropriate for inclusion in this classification are listed in the index and are assigned, for census purposes, as not applicable.
See also Full/Part-Time Student (STUP), Post-School Educational Qualification: Level of Attainment (QALLP), Post-School Educational Qualification:Year Completed (QALYP), Type of Educational Institution Attending (TYPP).
Post-School Educational Qualification Level of Attainment (QALLP)
This variable describes the level of attainment of the highest post-school educational qualification (e.g. bachelor degree, diploma) obtained.
See also Full/Part-Time Student (STUP), Post-School Educational Qualification: Field of Study (QALFP), Post-School Educational Qualification:Year Completed (QALYP), Type of Educational Institution Attending (TYPP).
Post-School Educational Qualification Year Completed (QALYP)
This variable describes the year in which the highest post-school qualification was completed. The range is from prior to 1971 to 1995-96.
Year Completed is only applicable for people who report having a qualification. It is also compared with Age to ensure that people are not shown as having obtained a qualification before they were 15 years of age.
See also Full/Part-Time Student (STUP), Post-School Educational Qualification: Level of Attainment (QALLP), Post-School Educational Qualification: Field of Study (QALFP ), Type of Educational Institution Attending (TYPP).
There are no preliminary data released for the 1996 Census. All data released are final counts. However, the data are released in two stages.
See also First release data, Second release data.
A household can contain one or more families. In a multiple family household, one family is called the primary family.
Where there was more than one family in a household on census night, the family with dependent children is designated as the primary family. If there were more than one family, and no children were present in the household, then the primary family is randomly chosen.
See also Child, Family, Household, Relationship in Household (RLHP).
See Directory of Census Statistics .
Proficiency in English (ENGP)
This variable only counts people who indicate that they speak a language at home other than English. These people are asked to state how well they speak English.
Responses to the question on Proficiency in English are subjective. For example, one respondent may consider that a response of 'Well' is appropriate if they can communicate well enough to do the shopping while another respondent may consider such a response appropriate only for people who can hold a social conversation. Proficiency in English is just an indicator of a person's ability to speak English and not a definitive measure of his/her ability.
For these reasons, census data on the levels of proficiency in English of people who speak a language other than English at home should be interpreted with care. Nevertheless, it is a useful indicator for the planning and provision of multilingual services and the ethnicity of the population.
Proficiency in English/Language (ENGP01) - This variable is derived from Questions 17 and 18. It counts all persons and states proficiency in English for those who speak a language other than English at home.
See also Language (LANP).
See Public Sector Mapping Agencies.
Public Sector Mapping Agencies (PSMA)
The PSMA is a consortium of State and Commonwealth mapping agencies, which has been contracted to supply digital base maps to the ABS.
See also Digital Base Map Data and Digital Boundaries.
Census publications provide easily accessible and basic census information to many clients.
For the 1996 Census, there are three major sets of publications available for each State and Territory:
- 1996 Census of Population and Housing: Selected Characteristics from First Release Data - Statistical Local Areas (Cat. no. 2015.08);
- 1996 Census of Population and Housing: Selected Characteristics from First Release Data - Urban Centres and Localities (Cat. no. 2016.08); and
The format of these publications represents a significant change compared to the publications from earlier censuses, mainly because of the availability of first release data. The first publications released from earlier censuses have traditionally contained age and sex counts for SLAs. Research has confirmed that there is some confusion over the three different population counts provided by the ABS, i.e. the Estimated Resident Population (ERP), the Place of Enumeration and Place of Usual Residence counts. To ease this confusion it is intended to release ERP by age and sex for SLAs at approximately the same time as the first census publications. The census publication series concentrates on small area population characteristics, making the combined initial release of data quite extensive.
A 1996 Census equivalent to the 1991 Census Characteristics publication has not been produced. The 1991 publication contained a subset of the tables which were from the 1991 Census Community Profiles. A complete 1996 Census Basic Community Profile is included in each of the first and second release Publications. Other tables, specific to client requirements, are available through ABS Client Services.
First release publication: the first 1996 Census publication contains selected characteristics of persons and dwellings from the first release data. It contains some comparable 1991 Census data.
There is a separate publication for each State/Territory and Australia. The State/Territory publications provide data for the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) areas of Statistical Division (SD), Statistical Subdivision (SSD) and Statistical Local Area (SLA). They also include a State or Territory level first release Basic Community Profile (BCP). The Australia publication provides data for the ASGC areas of State/Territory and an Australia BCP. Maps are included.
Urban Centre/Locality Publication: the second set of hard copy publications in the series contains data for Urban Centres/Localities (UC/L). This set of hard copy publications contains similar characteristics as the first release publication (FRP) but for UC/L and Section of State.
The UC/L publication is complementary to the FRP. There is also a table containing the same basic counts for Persons and Dwellings as the FRP, a table with each UC/L ranked by Population, and a table containing Section of State data.
Second release publication: the second release publication (SRP) is the third publication to be released in a series of three related publications.
There is a separate publication for each State/Territory and Australia. These second release publications continue on from the first release publication (FRP) and the Urban Centre/Locality (UC/L) publication. They contain selected characteristics from the 1996 Census second release data and some comparable 1991 Census data. The State/Territory publications contain characteristics which are available for the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) areas of Statistical Division, Statistical Subdivision, Statistical Local Area, Urban Centre/Locality, Section of State, and Capital City. They also contain a summary page using the characteristics selected for the Capital City area and second release Basic Community Profile (BCP) at the State/Territory level. The Australia publication contains similar second release characteristics at the State/Territory level. It does not contain Urban Centre/Locality, Section of State or Capital City data. It contains second release BCP for Australia but has a population rank order list of all urban centres.
See also Census Update newsletter.
- 1996 Census of Population and Housing: Selected Characteristics from Second Release Data - Statistical Local Areas (Cat. no. 2017.08).