Scope and coverage
The 2006 Census of Population and Housing aims to count every person who spent Census Night, 8 August 2006, in Australia. This includes people in the six states, the Northern Territory, the Australian Capital Territory, Jervis Bay Territory, and the external territories of Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands. The other Australian external territories (Norfolk Island, and minor islands such as Heard and McDonald Islands), are outside the scope of the Australian Census.
People who leave Australia but who are not required to undertake migration formalities, for example those on oil and gas rigs off the Australian coast, and expeditioners to the Australian Antarctic Territory (and other locations) are also included in the Census. They are coded to Off-Shore Collection Districts.
The only groups of people who spend Census Night in Australia but are excluded from the Census are foreign diplomats and their families, and foreign crew members on ships.
The Census also includes people on vessels in or between Australian ports and people on board long distance trains, buses or aircraft. People entering Australia before midnight on Census Night are counted, while people leaving an Australian port for an overseas destination before midnight on Census Night are not. Visitors to Australia are included regardless of how long they have been in the country or how long they plan to stay. However, for people who will be in Australia less than one year, only basic demographic data are available (for 1996, the period was for less than six months).
Detainees under the jurisdiction of the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, in Australian detention centres, police lock-ups or hospitals, are in the scope of the Census. For the 2006 Census, details are sourced from administrative data, so only basic demographic statistics such as age, sex and marital status are available.
All private dwellings, except diplomatic dwellings, are included in the Census, whether occupied or unoccupied. Caravans in caravan parks and manufactured homes in manufactured home estates, are counted only if occupied. For the 2006 Census, unoccupied residences in retirement villages (self-contained) are included. In previous Censuses they were excluded. Occupied non-private dwellings, such as hospitals, prisons, hotels, etc. are also included.
See also Other Territories, Place of enumeration, Place of Usual Residence (PURP), Visitors to Australia.