2901.0 - Census Dictionary, 2006 (Reissue)  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 13/07/2007  Reissue
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Contents >> Short Definitions and Classifications - 2006 >> Dwelling Type (DWTD) - Characteristics 2006

Dwelling Type

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Quality Statement


This variable classifies all dwellings into the basic dwelling types.

Note that the definition includes occupied residences in caravan parks, marinas, manufactured homes estates and accommodation for age/retired (self care). More Detailed Description


Applicable to: All dwellings

1. Occupied private dwelling
2. Unoccupied private dwellling
3. Non-private dwelling
4. Migratory
5. Off-shore
6. Shipping

Total number of categories: 6

More Detailed Description
Quality Statement - Dwelling Type (DWTD)

There are many aspects which can affect the quality of Census data; the following information should be considered when viewing data on Dwelling Type (DWTD).

This data is derived from information recorded by the Form Collector and in subsequent processing, not by the person completing the form..

Collectors sometimes find it difficult to determine whether dwellings are occupied or unoccupied on Census Night, and where there is insufficient information to make this distinction the dwelling normally will be deemed to be occupied. The ABS plans to do further analysis on the proportion of non-responding dwellings which may have been unoccupied on Census night.

It is also becoming increasingly difficult within some classes of dwellings to determine whether they are private or non-private dwellings (NPDs). For example hotels or resorts which are typically NPDs may also provide long term, self contained accommodation which are features of private dwellings. Retirement villages may offer self contained accommodation, accommodation with communal facilities (a feature of NPDs), or they may provide both.

While overall the data for Dwelling Type (DWTD) should not be significantly affected by these issues, some caution should be exercised when using this variable for small populations.

The ABS aims to produce high quality data from the Census. To achieve this, extensive effort is put into Census form design, collection procedures, and processing procedures.

There are four principal sources of error in Census data: respondent error, processing error, partial response and undercount. Quality management of the Census program aims to reduce error as much as possible, and to provide a measure of the remaining error to data users, to allow them to use the data in an informed way.

When completing their Census form, some people do not answer all the questions which apply to them. In these instances, a 'not stated' code is allocated during processing, with the exception of non-response to age, sex, marital status and place of usual residence. These variables are needed for population estimates, so they are imputed using other information on the Census form, as well as information from the previous Census.

The processing of information from Census forms is now mostly automated, using scanning, Intelligent Character Recognition and other automatic processes. Quality assurance procedures are used during Census processing to ensure processing errors are kept at an acceptable level. Sample checking is undertaken during coding operations, and corrections are made where necessary.

The Census form may be completed by one household member on behalf of others. Incorrect answers can be introduced to the Census form if the respondent does not understand the question or does not know the correct information about other household members. Many of these errors remain in the final data.

More detailed information on data quality is available in the 2006 Census Dictionary (cat. no. 2901.0), in the section titled Managing Census Quality.

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