Unit Record File
The Unit Record File (URF) is a sequence of records held on computer files. It holds coded data for all the person, family and dwelling characteristics in each Collection District (CD) as collected in the Census. It is the original source of all Census products. It excludes records for persons listed as temporarily absent, as their details will have been recorded at their place of enumeration on Census Night (if they were not overseas).
Census data are stored in a hierarchy of records for each dwelling. Each dwelling may contain a number of family records. Each of these, in turn, may contain a number of person records. When using household/family data it is necessary to recognise these three levels and understand the concepts at each level.
The three levels are indicated by the last character in the mnemonic for each variable. Dwelling level variables are indicated by D, family level by F, and person level by P.
The URF is held under strict security and is only accessible by certain officers of the ABS.
See also Data processing, Mnemonic.