2901.0 - Census of Population and Housing: Census Dictionary, 2016  
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2016 Census Dictionary >> Glossary >> Dwelling Structure (STRD)


Dwelling Structure (STRD)

This variable classifies the structure of private dwellings enumerated in the Census. Data on dwelling structure are used to monitor changes in housing characteristics, to help formulate housing policies and to review existing housing stock.

There has been a change in the way this information is collected. In 2016, it was recorded by ABS Address Canvassing Officers in the lead up to the Census as part of establishing the Address Register as a mail-out frame for designated areas. In areas enumerated using the traditional approach of delivering forms, the information was collected by ABS Field Officers during the Census collection period. Location of private dwelling data was also updated as required by ABS Field Officers during the 2016 Census enumeration period.

Since the 1986 Census, occupied caravans and cabins in caravan parks have been treated as occupied private dwellings, i.e. families for whom the caravan park is the usual residence are identified and coded. Prior to this, they were treated as non-private dwellings. Managers' residences in caravan parks or marinas are enumerated and classified as separate private dwellings. Unoccupied caravans and boats/craft, regardless of location, are not counted in the Census.


Prior to the 2016 Census, Caravans data were grouped together with cabin and houseboat. For the 2016 Census this will be available separately through an individual caravan category. Cabin and houseboat data remain together.

The broad categories are:

Separate house: This is a house which is separated from other dwellings by a space of at least half a metre. A separate house may have a flat attached to it, such as a granny flat or converted garage (the flat is categorised under Flat or apartment - see below). The number of storeys of separate houses is not recorded.

Also included in this category are occupied accommodation units in manufactured home estates which are identified as separate houses.

Semi-detached, row or terrace house, townhouse, etc.: These dwellings have their own private grounds and no other dwelling above or below them. They are either attached in some structural way to one or more dwellings or are separated from neighbouring dwellings by less than half a metre.

Flat or apartment: This category includes all dwellings in blocks of flats or apartments. These dwellings do not have their own private grounds and usually share a common entrance foyer or stairwell. This category also includes flats attached to houses such as granny flats, and houses converted into two or more flats.

Caravan: This category includes all occupied caravans, regardless of where they are located. Occupied campervans are also included. For further detailed information see Caravans in this glossary.

Cabins and Houseboats: This category includes all occupied cabins and houseboats. Cabins are self-contained and not intended for long term residential use. This includes occupied cabins located in residential parks or set up as temporary accommodation.

A Houseboat is an occupied mobile dwelling (intended for use on water). It is not typically intended for long term use (although it could be currently used on a permanent or semi-permanent basis). Occupied houseboats are treated as occupied private dwellings regardless of location. It also includes occupied small boats. Prior to the 1986 Census, occupied craft in marinas were treated as non-private dwellings. Separate houses in caravan/residential parks or marinas occupied by managers are not included in this category.

Improvised home, tent, sleepers-out: This category includes sheds, tents, humpies and other improvised dwellings, occupied on Census night. This category also includes people sleeping out, such as those sleeping on the streets, in abandoned buildings, under bridges or in cars.

House or flat attached to a shop, office, etc.: A house or flat attached to a shop, office, factory or any other non-residential structure is included in this category.

See also Caravans, Dwelling, Dwelling Location (DLOD), Dwelling Type (DWTD), Tenure Type (TEND), Type of Non-Private Dwelling (NPDD).




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