2900.0 - Census of Population and Housing: Understanding the Census and Census Data, Australia , 2016  
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Method of Travel to Work (MTWP)

This variable records the method(s) a person used to get to work on Census Day, Tuesday August 9, 2016. It is applicable to all persons aged 15 years or older who list their employment status as 'employed'.

How this variable is created

The responses to this question are captured automatically from mark box responses on the Census form. Respondents were able to select more than one response, though the majority of persons reported only a single mode of travel to work. An image of this question is provided below.

In some cases, where a respondent has marked a response, then crossed it out and marked another response, the automatic capture of the mark box is not able to distinguish between a valid mark and a crossed out mark. Since more than one response is allowed for this question, in any cases where more than one method was marked and a paper Census Form was used, responses were confirmed clerically to ensure that one or more of the marks wasn't crossed out by the respondent.

Respondents were asked to provide responses using mark-boxes and if they used more than one method of transport, then they could mark all methods used. Up to three methods were recorded in the Processing system. In pre-processed data, 0.6% respondents provided more than three responses. In these cases, responses were accepted in the order they appeared on the form and the extra responses were rejected.

In cases where the combination of responses contained 'Did not go to work', 'Worked at home' or 'Walked only' then these unique responses override any others. If more than one of these unique responses is in the same combination, then a single response is selected in the order they appear above.

Variable history

The question relating to Method of Travel to Work was first asked in the 1976 Census. Similar questions have been asked in every census since then. No changes were made for 2016.

Non-response rate

Unlike most Census variables, the non-response rate for Method of Travel to Work is not affected by persons who did not return a Census form because this variable is only applicable to persons with a labour force status of 'employed'. Persons who do not respond or have a labour force status of 'not stated' are not applicable to Method of Travel to Work.

The non-response rate for this variable was 1.0% (1.5% in 2011).

Data usage notes

When used in conjunction with Place of Work data, users should be aware that Place of Work refers to the main job last week, while Method of Travel to Work refers to Census day. This may explain why, for a small proportion of records, Method of Travel to Work data may appear inconsistent with Place of Work or Place of Usual Residence information.

This data is used in conjunction with place of usual residence and workplace address to construct 'journey to work' data for transport planning.

Further information

A definition of Method of Travel to Work is available in the 2016 Census Dictionary.
For more information related to Method of Travel to Work, see data quality statements for Place of Work and Place of Usual Residence.

Household form question image

Question 45 as it appeared on the 2016 Census Household Paper Form:

Image: 2016 Household Paper Form - Question 45. How did the person get to work on Tuesday, 9 August 2016?
A text only version of the online Census Household form is available from the Downloads tab.