2007.0 - Information Paper: Census of Population and Housing: ABS Views on Content and Procedures, 2011  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 26/10/2007   
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The coding of address of place of work to destination zones allows Census data to be produced on journey to work patterns and on daytime populations of specified areas.


The questions which enable the derivation of journey to work have been included since the 1971 Census.

There is no specific question addressing this topic. Rather, journey to work is a topic derived from coding address of usual residence and address of workplace to obtain origins and destinations of employed people travelling to work.

From the 2001 Census, the workplace address of the person was required rather than employer’s workplace address. This was designed to encourage respondents to give their actual workplace address rather than a head office.

For the 2006 Census, the question asking for the person’s workplace address was expanded to include building/property name.


When the question on workplace address is cross-classified with usual address, journey to work data can be obtained. These data are used by policy makers, including transport authorities for:

  • the analysis of travel patterns within major metropolitan areas particularly in relation to concentration in peak periods
  • the modelling of fuel usage
  • the forecasting of public transport patronage
  • the analysis of catchment areas for transport routes
  • transport planning including road usage, particularly in relation to direction and magnitude of journeys.

The data also assists policy makers in planning for:
  • transport systems
  • industrial development
  • the release of residential and industrial land.

Information on daytime populations is required for:
  • analysis of the distribution of industry across regions
  • planning of private and public facilities in employment centres.

For the 2006 Census, journey to work data was produced at the Statistical Local Area (SLA) level. Destination zone level data was provided as customised data.


No data are available on this topic for small areas from other ABS sources.

Some information on workplace address is available from the 2006 ABS Time Use Survey. Results from this Survey are expected to be available either late 2007 or early 2008, in the publication How Australians Use Their Time, Australia, 2006 (cat. no. 4153.0).

Each State Transport Authority collects survey data for its capital city/metropolitan area on a regular basis. Victoria Transport is investigating the use of their public transport ticketing and traffic light datasets to supplement ABS data.


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