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2049.0 - Census of Population and Housing: Estimating homelessness, 2006  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 11/09/2012   
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This publication presents the first official Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates of the prevalence of homelessness, developed using data from the 2001 and 2006 ABS Censuses of Population and Housing. The estimates use the ABS methodology for estimating homelessness from the Census. An overview can be found in the Feature Article: Methodology Used to Calculate Homeless Estimates. For more information, see Information Paper - Methodology for Estimating Homelessness from the Census of Population and Housing (cat. no. 2049.0.55.001).

The ABS' statistical definition of homelessness underpins this methodology. An overview of the definition is found in the Feature article: Overview of the Definition of Homelessness. More information on the definition see Information Paper - A Statistical Definition of Homelessness (cat. no. 4922.0).

Estimates of homelessness from the 2011 Census, using the same methodology, will be published on 12 November 2012 under Census of Population and Housing: Estimating Homelessness, 2011 (cat. no. 2049.0), after Census second release variables are published on 30 October 2012.


The ABS acknowledges and thanks the wide range of stakeholders who showed strong commitment and expertise in providing guidance to the ABS as it developed its statistical definition of homelessness and its methodology to produce the first official ABS estimates of homelessness from the Census.

The ABS established the Homelessness Statistics Reference Group (HSRG) to advise the ABS on the development, collection, compilation, production and dissemination of robust statistics for use in analysing, understanding and reporting on homelessness in Australia. The ABS thanks all HSRG members past and present for their invaluable contributions, commitment and time in advising the ABS. The ABS particularly thanks HSRG co-chair Dr Shelly Mallett (Hanover General Manager of Research and Service Development, and Honorary Senior Lecturer at Melbourne University) for her knowledge, facilitation, and dedication in her role as co-chair, and to HSRG members Professor Chris Chamberlain and Associate Professor David MacKenzie for both their ground-breaking work in establishing a world first approach to the use of Census data in estimation of the homelessness population, and for their contributions through the HSRG processes.


Datacubes for Statistical Local Areas and Statistical Subdivision, for areas that data are available, will be attached to this publication in early October.


As estimates have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between sums of the component items and totals.


For further information about these and related statistics, contact Bob McColl on (02) 6252 6233 or, or email

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