The data presented in this electronic publication are drawn from the Census of Population and Housing. Definitions for the main data items are included in the Glossary below. Further information can be obtained from the Census dictionaries relevant to each Census year (ABS cat. no. 2901.0).
Calculation of proportions
Unless otherwise indicated, 'Not stated' and 'Inadequately described' categories have been excluded from the denominator when calculating the proportion of the population with a particular characteristic.
Contributing family worker
A person who works without pay in an economic enterprise operated by a relative. (Previously entitled unpaid family helper).
Discouraged job seeker
A person with a marginal attachment to the labour force who wanted to work and were available to start work but whose main reason for not actively looking for work was that they believed they would not find a job.
Refers to persons who had a full-time or part-time job of any kind in the week prior to Census night. A 'job' refers to any type of work, including casual or temporary work or part-time work, if it was for one hour or more, and includes persons who:
- worked for payment or profit, or as an unpaid helper in a family business;
- had a job from which they were on leave or otherwise temporarily absent;
- were on strike or stood down temporarily.
A person who works for a public or private employer and receives remuneration in wages or salary; or is paid a retainer fee by his/her employer and works on a commission basis; or works for an employer for tips, piece-rates or payment in kind; or is a person who operated his/her own incorporated enterprise with or without hiring employees.
A person who operates his/her own unincorporated economic enterprise or engages independently in trade, and hires one or more employees.
For Census purposes a person is considered to be working full-time if they worked 35 hours or more, in all jobs, during the week prior to Census night.
Goods producing industries
Goods-producing industries include the following divisions of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 1993 (cat. no. 1292.0): Agriculture, forestry and fishing; Mining; Manufacturing; Electricity, gas and water supply; and Construction.
Industry has been classified according to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 1993 (cat. no. 1292.0).
The labour force is made up of employed and unemployed people aged 15 years and over. Persons who are neither employed nor unemployed are classified as 'not in the labour force' (includes people who were retired, pensioners and people engaged solely in home duties).
Labour force participation rate
The number of persons in the labour force expressed as a percentage of the population aged 15 years and over, excluding persons who did not state their labour force status.
Urban centres with a population exceeding 100,000 persons ('Major urban' in the SOS Structure).
Towns and urban centres with a population in the range of 20,000 to 99,999 persons (part of 'Other urban' in the SOS Structure).
Covers people who were enumerated in the Census on off-shore oil rigs, drilling platforms and the like, aboard ships in Australian waters or on an overnight journey by train or bus and by definition are not allocated to a particular SOS category.
Own account workers
A person who operates his or her own unincorporated economic enterprise or engages independently in a profession or trade, and hires no employees (this category was formerly entitled self-employed).
For Census purposes a person is considered to be working part-time if they worked 34 hours or less, in all jobs, during the week prior to Census night.
Describes the level of a person's highest completed non-school qualification and is classified to the Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED), 2001 (cat. no. 1272.0).
Rural areas include towns with a population in the range 200 to 999 persons ('Bounded localities' in the SOS Structure) and the remainder of Australia ('Rural balance' in the SOS Structure).
Section of state (SOS) structure
The geographical areas used in this publication have been derived from the Section of State (SOS) Structure contained in the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC), Volume 1, 2001 (cat. no. 1216.0)
The Section of State (SOS) Structure uses population counts from the Census of Population and Housing to classify Census Collection Districts (CD) as urban or rural. The SOS then represents an aggregation of non-contiguous geographical areas of particular urban/rural CDs in particular size groups. The Section of State categories are:
Major Urban - population clusters of 100,000 or more. Comprises all of the capital cities excluding Darwin, together with a number of other large urban centres such as Newcastle, Gold Coast, Wollongong, Geelong, Townsville, Central Coast and Sunshine Coast).
Other Urban (A) - population clusters in the range 20,000 to 99,999. Includes large regional centres such as Cairns, Ballarat, Bunbury, Tamworth, Dubbo, Warnambool, Mackay, etc. Darwin is also included in this category.
Other Urban (B) - population clusters in the range 1,000 to 19,999. Includes a range of diverse towns such as Ballina and Cootamundra (NSW), Bacchus Marsh and Lakes Entrance (Vic), Nambour and Mareeba (Qld), Karratha and Northam (WA), Murray Bridge and Naracoorte (SA), Ulverstone and New Norfolk (Tas) and Katherine and Nhulunbuy (NT).
Bounded Locality - all population clusters of 200 to 999 people.
Rural Balance - the remainder of Australia. Note: there is a great diversity within this category as it includes those living on small rural allotments within commuting distance of Major Urban centres as well as farms and other property throughout Australia.
Migratory - includes persons counted in the census on off-shore oil rigs, drilling platforms and the like, aboard ships in Australian waters or on an overnight journey by train or bus.
For the purposes of this report self-employed persons have been defined to include Employers, Own account Workers and Contributing Family Workers.
Service industries include the following divisions of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 1993 (cat. no. 1292.0): Wholesale trade; Retail trade; Accommodation, cafes and restaurants; Transport and storage; Communication services; Finance and insurance; Property and business services; Government administration and defence; Education; Health and community services; Cultural and recreational services; and Personal and other services.
Towns and urban centres with a population in the range of 1,000 to 19,999 persons (part of 'Other urban' in the SOS Structure).
Refers to persons who did not have a job in the week prior to Census night but had actively looked for work in the last four weeks and were available to start work.
For any group, the number of unemployed persons expressed as a percentage of the labour force in the same group.
This page last updated 20 June 2006