2914.0 - 2006 Census of Population and Housing - Fact Sheets, 2006  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 03/05/2007   
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Usual residence data are Census counts based on where people usually lived at the time of the Census. It provides information on the usually resident population of an area, and on the internal migration patterns at the state/territory and regional levels. The 2006 Census asks three questions on usual residence; where the person usually lives on Census Night, where the person usually lived one year ago and where the person usually lived five years ago.

IN 2001

The 2001 Census was the first Census where usual residence data for Census Night were available at Collection District (CD) level. Previously place of usual residence was only coded to Statistical Local Area (SLA) level. As in the past, if the respondent gave insufficient address information, their SLA of usual residence was imputed. The CD of usual residence was not imputed in these cases, but instead was classified as inadequately described.

Most respondents enumerated at a place other than their usual residence provided sufficient information for their usual residence to be coded to a CD. However, in some cases a code of 'State undefined' or 'Capital City undefined' was allocated and in some cases no response was given.

If there was inadequate information to allocate a code for usual residence, the CD of a parent (if the person is under 15) or spouse (if the person is 15 or older) was allocated. This presumes a parent or spouse was recorded on the census form with their usual residence details completed.

NEW FOR 2006

The Place of Usual Residence (PURP) variable is new for 2006. It is hierarchical and replaces the variables State of Usual Residence Census Night (STEUCP), Statistical Local Area of Usual Residence Census Night (SLAUCP) and Collection District of Usual Residence Census Night (CDUCP) from 2001. It is based on Collection District (CD) of usual residence on Census Night and can be aggregated to higher levels of geography e.g. Statistical Local Area (SLA), Local Government Area (LGA), Postal Area and State/Territory. The 2001 usual residence CD level variable (CDUCP) included categories 'Not stated' and 'Inadequately described'. These categories are not included in the 2006 variable Place of Usual Residence (PURP) as CDs of usual residence are now allocated to all records where usual residence is not stated or is incomplete. The 2006 Census is the first census to impute usual residence at CD level.


The following usual residence variables are available:
  • Place of Usual Residence (PURP)
  • Place of Usual Residence One Year Ago (PUR1P)
  • Place of Usual Residence Five Years Ago (PUR5P).


The information acquired from the answers to the usual residence questions is recorded in the usual residence indicator variables:
  • Usual Address Indicator Census Night (UAICP)
  • Usual Address One Year Ago Indicator (UAI1P)
  • Usual Address Five Years Ago Indicator (UAI5P)

Use of usual residence indicators make it possible to identify the pattern of net movement of people between three dates, i.e. Census Night, one year ago and five years ago.


If no code can be allocated for SLA of usual residence one or five years ago, a code of Not Stated is given. The only exceptions to this are where the person is 16 or younger (for usual residence one year ago) or 20 years or younger (for usual residence five years ago) and there is a parent present with the appropriate SLA coded. The SLA code of the parent is then allocated to the person.


People in transit

On Census Night a number of people were enumerated on long-distance trains, buses or aircraft. These people are coded to a valid spatial CD, as migratory CDs are invalid for place of usual residence. If they gave an address in Australia as their usual residence, they were coded to the CD containing that address.

People on board ships

People who are enumerated aboard ship in Australian waters are coded to a Shipping CD (which cover an area of water, normally a port, which is controlled by a Port Authority). This includes commercial cargo vessels, passenger liners, ocean going passenger/car ferries, and dredges. People enumerated on board commercial vessels between Australian ports are also attributed to Shipping CDs. Foreign crews on ships are excluded from Census enumeration.

People living off-shore

People who are enumerated on off-shore oil-rigs, drilling platforms and the like are coded to Off-Shore CDs. There is one Off-Shore CD for each state and the Northern Territory. Census data from respondents who completed their Census forms in the Australian Antarctic Territory are coded to an additional Off-Shore CD in Tasmania.

People in boarding schools and colleges

Boarders at boarding school or college are coded to the address of the school or college .

People in non-private dwellings

If no adequate response is given for usual residence for persons enumerated in Non-Private Dwellings (e.g. hotels, motels, hospitals) the SLA is imputed.

Visitors to Australia

Persons who live in another country and who are visiting Australia for less than one year, are coded to 'Overseas visitors'.


Family and household structures are based on persons usually resident. Temporarily absent persons are used to classify types of relationships and families existing in a household, but they are not used in the derivation of any other census characteristics or in other census output. If all members of a family are absent from their usual residence, no family records are created for them.


The Estimated Resident Population (ERP) is the official ABS estimate of the Australian population. Among its many uses, are the determination of the number of representatives from each State (and Territory) to sit in the House of Representatives, and the annual allocation of Commonwealth funds for state governments and local government. The ERP is based on Census of Population and Housing usual residence counts. It is compiled as at 30 June of each census year and updated quarterly between censuses. These intercensal estimates of the resident population are revised each time a population census is conducted.

In compiling 30 June ERP for a census year, three important factors are taken into account:
  • Census net underenumeration (or undercount). The level of underenumeration is derived from the Census Post Enumeration Survey which is conducted soon after the Census, and from estimates based on demographic analysis.
  • Australian residents who are temporarily overseas on Census Night and are therefore not covered by the Australian Census. The number of such people is obtained from statistics on overseas arrivals and departures.
  • The Census does not fall on 30 June. For example, the 2006 Census was held on 8 August. Back-dating of population estimates from 8 August to 30 June is accomplished using data from birth and death registrations, overseas arrivals and departures, and estimates of interstate migration, for the period 1 July to 8 August.