2900.0 - Census of Population and Housing: Understanding the Census and Census Data, Australia , 2016  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/06/2017  First Issue
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Registered Marital Status (MSTP, IFMSTP)

This variable records a person's formal registered marital status and refers to the legal status of the person. This may not necessarily reflect a person's current living arrangement.

This variable is applicable to persons aged 15 years or older.

How this variable is created

The responses to this question are captured automatically from mark-box responses on the form, so the risk of processing error is minimal. As Registered Marital Status is a key demographic variable, if there is no response to the question, a response is imputed (or derived to Not Applicable when age is less than 15 years). The variable Imputation Flag for Registered Marital Status (IFMSTP) indicates if a person's Registered Marital Status was imputed in the Census.

The imputation rate for this variable in 2016 was 6.8% (5.2% in 2011). For more information about imputation, see the Derivation and imputations information in the 2016 Census Dictionary.

For MSTP a small proportion of cases less than 0.5%, respondents provided an more than one response to the question. In these cases, responses were accepted in the order they appeared on the form and the extra responses were rejected.

Variable history

A question on Marital Status has been asked in every Census since 1911. This question was unchanged for 2016.

Non-response rate

Registered Marital Status does not have a non-response rate as there is no separate 'not stated' category in the classification.

Data usage notes

The Registered Marital Status variable provides data about a person's own current registered marital status, regardless of their reported relationship to another person in their household.

The majority of imputed registered marital status are attributed to persons in occupied dwellings on Census Night that did not return a form. A smaller proportion were due to persons who returned a partially completed form without responding to the marital status question.

Further Information:

A definition of Registered Marital Status is available in the 2016 Census Dictionary.
A definition of Imputation Flag for Marital Status is available in the 2016 Census Dictionary.

Household form question image

Question 6 as it appeared on the 2016 Census Household Paper Form:

2016 Household Paper Form - Question 6. What is the person's present marital status?

A text only version of the online Census Household form is available from the Downloads tab.