2901.0 - Census Dictionary, 1996  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 03/07/1996   
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Census variables contain person, dwelling or family characteristics for which data can be produced. The data may be acquired directly from the questions on the census form or derived or imputed from information acquired from a combination of these questions. Each variable is represented by a four, five or six letter mnemonic.

See also Dwelling Variables, Family Variables, Mnemonics, Person Variables.

Vector-Based Digital Geography

The digital geographic data used by the ABS is vector-based. Fundamental elements in any vector-based spatial database are the points and lines which define the geographic features. Mathematically, a vector is a straight line, having both magnitude and direction. Therefore, in the context of digital geographic information, a straight line between two coordinate points is a vector. Hence the concept of vector data used in GIS and the designation of vector-based systems.


See Number of Motor Vehicles (VEHD).

Visitors to Australia

Question 7, 'What is the person's usual address?' identifies people who are usually resident in another country. These overseas visitors are identified as a separate category (known as V) for all applicable variables.

Prior to the 1996 Census, no distinction was made in many standard products between residents of Australia and overseas visitor data. Therefore overseas visitor data were included in standard tabulations, unless otherwise specified. For the 1996 Census, overseas visitors are separately categorised in standard tabulations (where the table population is 'all persons' and with the exception of the Age and Marital Status tables) thus providing this distinction.

For Overseas Visitors, only the variables Age (AGEP), Sex (SEXP) and Registered Marital Status (MSTP) are available. In all other person variables an Overseas Visitor category (code V) appears in order to allow identification of overseas visitors when compiling tables.

The variables Age (AGEP), Sex (SEXP) and Marital Status (MSTP) do not have a V category. Overseas Visitors can be identified by cross-classification with the Usual Address category of overseas, or State of Usual Address category of overseas. For all other variables, these people should appear only in the V category.

Information on Overseas Visitors is available on request.

See also Census Counts - Place of Enumeration, Census Count - Place of Usual Residence, Estimated Resident Population.

Visitors to a Household

Characteristics of individual visitors (i.e. people who tick the elsewhere box in Question 7) are available at the household of enumeration. These people can also be tabulated according to their SLA of Usual Residence but cannot be placed back to their Collection District or Dwelling of usual residence. This concept should not be confused with that of Usual Residents Temporarily Absent (see Temporarily Absent for more information). Visitors are excluded from household and family classifications, although, counts of visitors are still available separately.

All household and family classifications in the 1996 Census are based on the relationships of people usually residing in the household, where there is at least one person over the age of 15 present, i.e. temporarily absent persons are included and visitors are excluded.

The relationship of visitors to one another, or to any resident (including cases where all the people enumerated are visitors) is not further classified.

In the case of a household containing only visitors, because of some interest in household incomes in holiday resorts, Household Income (HIND) is calculated.

Households containing only visitors are excluded from household mobility variables.

See also Census Count - Place of Enumeration, Household.

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