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Census variables contain person, dwelling or family characteristics for which data can be produced. The data may be acquired directly from the questions on the census form or derived or imputed from information acquired from a combination of these questions.
Each variable is represented by a mnemonic e.g. ‘VEHD’ for the variable ‘Number of Motor Vehicles’. There is a Mnemonic Index and a Topic Index in Section 1 of this Dictionary. See also Dwelling variables, Family variables, Mnemonics, Person variables.
The digital geographic data used by the ABS is vector-based. In the context of digital geographic information, a vector is a straight line between two coordinate points. Hence the concept of vector data used in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and the designation of vector-based systems, which use points and lines to define geographic features.
See Number of Motor Vehicles (VEHD), Number of Motorbikes and Scooters (MCYCD).
Question 7 on the census form, 'Where does the person usually live?' allows the identification of people who are usually resident in another country. These Overseas Visitors are identified as a separate category (coded as V) for all applicable variables.
In the 1996 Census, Overseas Visitors were those people who indicated they would be usually resident in Australia for less than six months. For the 2001 Census, this has been increased to less than one year.
Prior to the 1996 Census, Overseas Visitor data were included in standard tabulations unless otherwise specified. Since the 1996 Census, Overseas Visitors have been separately categorised in standard tabulations, with the exception of Age (AGEP), Sex (SEXP) and Marital status (MSTP) tabulations.
Overseas Visitors can be identified for AGEP, SEXP, and MSTP by cross-classifying with a variable which contains a separate overseas visitor category.
See also Place of enumeration, Place of usual residence, Estimated Resident Population (ERP).
Characteristics of individual visitors to a household are available at the household of enumeration. Visitors may also be tabulated according to their CD of Usual Residence but cannot be placed back to their Dwelling of usual residence. The 2001 Census is the first census where the CD of usual residence of visitors will be recorded. However the data will not be imputed where the respondent has given insufficient address information. As with the 1996 Census, this information is available to at least the SLA level. Visitors are excluded from household and family classifications, although counts of visitors are still available separately.
All household and family classifications in the Census are based on the relationships of people usually residing in the household. This applies when there is at least one person over the age of 15 present. In these classifications, people temporarily absent are included, and visitors are excluded.
The relationship of visitors to one another, or to any resident (including cases where all the people enumerated are visitors) is not further classified.
Household Income (HIND) is calculated in households containing only visitors due to interest about household incomes in holiday resorts.
Households containing only visitors are excluded from household mobility variables. See also Place of enumeration, Household.