2901.0 - Census Dictionary, 1996  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 03/07/1996   
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Occupation (OCCP)

Occupation is collected in the Census for all employed people aged 15 years and over. Two questions are used in the 1996 Census, one asking for occupation title (in main job held in the week prior to census night) to be stated, the other asking for the main tasks usually performed in that occupation. Collecting both occupation title and task information ensures more accurate coding of occupations.

Occupation data for the 1996 Census are classified in accordance with the Second Edition (1996) of the Australian Standard Classification of Occupations (ASCO), and are coded to the occupation level. In ASCO, a job is defined as a set of tasks performed by one individual, and an occupation is defined as a set of jobs sufficiently similar in their main tasks to be grouped together.

Occupation data are essential for labour market analysis and policy formation. Changes in the occupational composition of the labour force are important for planning at the industry and geographic area levels. The data are used in analyses of education and training needs, and as indicators for industry assistance programs. Small area data on occupation are important in regional planning, in examining the occupational mobility of ethnic and other minority groups and in measuring socioeconomic status variability between regions.

See also Australian Standard Classification of Occupations (ASCO), Labour Force.

Occupied Private Dwelling

See Dwelling.

Off-Shore Collection District

See Section of State, Dwelling Type (DWTD).


See Child.

One-Parent Family

A one-parent family consists of a lone parent with at least one child (regardless of age) who is also usually resident in the family household. The family may also include any number of other related individuals.

Any children who are temporarily absent are used to differentiate between lone-person households and one-parent families. If a spouse were temporarily absent, the family would be coded to a couple family.

Examples of one-parent families include: a 25-year-old parent with dependent children; and an 80-year-old living with a 50-year-old child.

See also Child, Family, Relationship in Household (RLHP).

Optical Mark Recognition

Many (35) of the questions on the 1996 Census form are read by Optical Mark Recognition (OMR) machines and the raw data subsequently reformatted into a unit record file. OMR eliminates much of the keyboard data entry phase of input processing and many of the transcription tasks. The number of errors that occur during Data Capture is reduced.

The coding of questions requiring a written response (such as a person's occupation) is done using Computer Assisted Coding (CAC) during first and second release processing.

See also Data Processing Centre, First release data, Input Processing, Second release data.

Optional Questions

The only optional question in the Census asks 'What is each person's religious denomination?'. This question has never been compulsory.


See Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Origin (ABLP), Ethnicity.

Origin Zone

Origin zones are Collection Districts (CDs) of enumeration or aggregations of CDs. They are called origin zones when used in Journey to Work (JTW) analysis.

A destination zone of place of work is coded for each employed person aged 15 years or over who lived within a JTW study area and who was enumerated at his/her usual place of residence on census night.

A person working outside the study area in which he/she was enumerated is coded to the special category worked outside study area.

See also Journey to Work, Work Destination Zone (DZNP), Working Population.


See Output Spatial Database.


See Residual Categories and Supplementary Codes.

Other Family

Other Family is defined as a family of other related individuals residing in the same household. These individuals do not form a couple or parent-child relationship with any other person in the household and are not attached to a couple or one-parent family in the household.

If two brothers, for example, are living together and neither is a spouse/partner, a lone parent or a child, then they are classified as an other family. However, if the two brothers share the household with the daughter of one of the brothers and her husband, then both brothers are classified as other related individuals and are attached to the couple family.

See also Couple Family, Family Type (FMTF), Related Individuals.

Other Related Individual

An individual who is related to members of the household, but who does not form a couple relationship or parent-child relationship according to the priority rules of family coding. He/she can be related through blood, step or in-law relationship and include any direct ancestor or descendant. Relatives beyond first cousin are excluded.

Other related individuals can form their own family type or can be attached to an already existing family. Those related individuals who reside in the same household and who do not form a couple or parent-child relationship with any other person in the household are classified as an other family.

In cases where a couple family or one-parent family has been formed, any persons who are related to members of these families and are usual residents of the household are other related individuals. In these circumstances they can be identified at the detailed level of the Family Type (FMTF) classification.

Related adults, such as individual brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, may be present in the household. If a household comprises only two or more related individuals, then they are classified as family (for example, two brothers, or a female living with her grandchild).

Individuals who are related to a family are classified as related family members and associated with the primary family. Other variables which identify related individuals and adults are:

      • Family Type (FMTF); and
      • Relationship in Household (RLHP).

The following is a list of relationships which define a related individual:
    Self, Husband, Wife, De facto marriage partner, Mother, Step-mother, Mother in-law, Father, Step-father, Father in-law, Son, Step-son, Son in-law, Daughter, Step-daughter, Daughter in-law, Grandmother, Step-grandmother, Grandmother in-law, Grandfather, Step-grandfather, Grandfather in-law, Granddaughter, Step-granddaughter, Granddaughter in-law, Grandson, Step-grandson, Grandson in-law, Sister, Step-sister, Half-sister, Sister in-law, Brother, Step-brother, Half brother, Brother in-law, Aunt, Step-aunt, Aunt in-law, Uncle, Step-uncle, Uncle in-law, Nephew, Step-nephew, Nephew in-law, Niece, Step-niece, Niece in-law, Cousin, Step-cousin, Cousin in-law.
See also Family, Other Family, Relationship in Household (RLHP).

Other Territories

Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands were previously classified as External Territories. Following amendments to the Acts Interpretation Act 1901_1973 effective from July 1992, the two external territories of Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands now form part of geographic Australia. Together with the Jervis Bay Territory, which had previously been linked to the Australian Capital Territory for statistical purposes, these territories now comprise a pseudo 'ninth State/Territory' of Australia. The remaining Australian External Territories, Norfolk Island and minor islands such as Heard Island and McDonald Island, remain outside the scope of the Census.

Prior to the 1986 Census, separate censuses of the islands were conducted by the Department of Home Affairs, or its equivalent.

For the 1986 and 1991 Censuses, Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Christmas Island were included as part of the Australian Census, but their data were excluded from statistical counts for Australia. Norfolk Island and the other minor external territories were out of scope for the Census.

For 1996, Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Christmas Island along with Jervis Bay Territory comprise State 9 'Other Territories', and are included in statistical counts for Australia. Each of the three areas has a unique SLA code.

See also Client Services.

Other Urban

See Section of State.

Out of Scope

See Scope and Coverage.

Output Spatial Database (OSD)

This is the primary store of digital geographic information used in census output products and services (with the exception of the additional name attribution found in the Reduced Output Spatial Database base map). In total it is approximately 5 Gb in size.

The OSD itself contains three fully integrated elements:

      • digital base map data;
      • digital boundary data; and
      • the CD Record Database (CDRD).

The three integrated elements have their data broken into two broad categories - spatial data and aspatial data. The digital base map and digital boundary data incorporate both spatial and aspatial data. The CDRD only incorporates aspatial data.

See also Collection District Record Database, Reduced Output Spatial Database, Digital Base Map, Digital Boundaries.

Overseas born

See Birthplace.

Overseas Visitor

See Visitors to Australia.

Own Account Worker

An Own Account Worker is a person who operates his/her own unincorporated economic enterprise or engages independently in a profession or trade and hires no employees. This category was called 'Self-employed' in 1991.

See also Labour Force Status/Status in Employment (LFSP).

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