Census Topics 1911-2011
(1) Since the 2006 Census, the person is asked for either date of birth or age.
(2) Prior to and including 1976, the term relationship to head was used.
(3) The term head was considered inappropriate and relationship to Person 1 was asked.
(4) Since 1986 relationship to Person 1/Person 2 has been asked.
(5) Year of first marriage was used.
(6) Since 2001 the country of birth of parents questions were replaced by questions asking whether a person's parents were born in Australia or overseas
(7) Prior to 1976, nationality rather than citizenship was asked.
(8) Since 1986 the person has been asked whether or not they were an Australian citizen.
(9) In all Censuses prior to 1971, respondents were required to state their race and, where race was mixed, to specify the proportion of each.
(10) In the 1971 and 1976 Censuses, a question with response categories of European, Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Other was included.
(11) A question on each person's ancestry was asked for the first time in 1986.
(12) The 1961 Census asked for state of usual residence.
(13) State level only.
(14) Need for assistance questions will cover the areas of self care, movement and communication. Reason for need for assistance or supervision will also be asked.
(15) Question asked whether the person could read and write.
(16) Question asked whether the person could read and write a foreign language if unable to read and write English.
(17) The 1976 Census asked for all languages regularly used.
(18) In 1981 ability to speak English was asked.
(19) Since 1986 two separate questions have been asked - language used and ability to speak English.
(20) Questions on usage of personal computers and the Internet were asked for the first time in 2001.
(21) Included a question where respondents reported their highest level of educational achievement.
(22) Since 1976, a question on attendance at school or other educational institution has been asked.
(23) Since 1971, people aged 15 or more have been asked whether they had obtained a qualification. If so, information on the name of highest qualification obtained, field of study, the name of institution and the year obtained was collected.
(24) In 2006, the question asking at which institution was the persons highest qualification obtained was removed, as evaluation of the use of this question during processing found there was little or no benefit in it being asked. In 2006, the response options for the year qualification completed question was altered to a choice of "Yes, before 1998" or "No, 1998 or later", with 1998 being the year the Australian Qualifications Framework was introduced. This has been continued for the 2011 Census.
(25) In 2006 unpaid work was asked for the first time. These questions include unpaid domestic work, unpaid care due to a disability, long term illness or old age, unpaid child care and voluntary work.
(26) In the Censuses since 1981, respondents have been required to answer a series of questions from which labour force status was coded.
(27) An additional question - main tasks or duties performed in the occupation has been asked since 1986.
(28) Place of work was first collected in 1954.
(29) Employer's occupation was asked in 1911 and 1921.
(30) In 1971, 1976 and since 1996 the hours worked question has focused on hours worked in all jobs held in the week prior to the Census.
(31) The 1981, 1986 and 1991 Censuses asked for hours worked in the main job in the week prior to the Census.
(32) Journey to work topic has been derived from coding of address of usual residence and address of workplace to obtain origins and destinations of travel to work. The name of this topic will be changed to be "Workplace Address" for the 2006 Census.
(33) Data was collected but not processed.
(34) From 1911 to 1971, and since 1996, a direct question on nature of occupancy was asked.
(35) From 1976 to 1991, nature of occupancy data was derived from mortgage and rent questions.
(36) If paying rent to a Government Authority in 1954 or a State Housing Authority in 1961, respondents were instructed to write 'Tenant (G)'.
(37) Tenants in 1966 had the option of marking the relevant State Housing Authority or 'other landlord'.
(38) In 1971, response categories comprised State Housing Authority, employer or other landlord.
(39) The number of landlord response categories rose from three (from 1971 until 1991) to seven in 1996 and 2001, and to eight for the 2006 and 2011 Censuses.
(40) In 1976 the monthly payment made on first and second mortgages was asked.
(41) Average monthly payment for total mortgages was asked.
(42) Monthly payment made on the loans for the dwelling was asked.
(43) Those with mortgage repayments had the option of writing the weekly, fortnightly or monthly amount paid.
(44) In 2001 this question also asked for the number of motorbikes and motor scooters. Asking for motorbikes and motor scooters was removed in 2006.
(45) This question has been completed by the Census Collector since 1976.
(46) This question moved from the back of the Census form to the Collector Record Book in 2006.
(47) In 1996 a new classification was developed for Other Dwellings. It included caravans in caravan parks, boats in marinas, manufactured home estates and self-care units in accommodation for the retired or aged, all of which were enumerated using household forms. In 1986 and 1991, caravans in caravan parks and boats in marinas were included in the Non-Private Dwelling classification.
(48) An additional category - apartment complexes (with mixed occupancy) was included in Other Dwellings.
(49) The name of the topic changed to Private Dwelling Establishments in 2006.
(50) The question was answered by the Census Collector in 1981.
(51) In 1976, type of fuel or power used for household purposes was asked.
(52) Completed by the Census Collector in the Censuses from 1971 to 1986.
This page last updated 5 May 2011