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Refers to people who state they have Australian Citizenship.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW)
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) is a major national agency set up by the Australian Government under the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Act to provide reliable, regular and relevant information and statistics on Australia's health and welfare. This agency manages and produces the Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS) Collection.
Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS)
The Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) is the geographical standard used by the ABS since July 2011 for the collection and dissemination of geographic statistics. It is a hierarchically structured classification conceptually based on Mesh Blocks and is split into two broad groups, ABS structures and the Non-ABS structures to satisfy different statistical purposes. The ASGS ABS Structures used in this publication are:
The ASGS Non-ABS Structure used in this publication is:
For more information refer to the ABS geography page <https://www.abs.gov.au/geography> and the publication Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS): Volume 1 - Main Structure and Greater Capital City Statistical Areas, July 2011 (cat. no. 1270.0.55.001).
See Country of birth.
Canadian National Occupancy Standard (CNOS)
The Canadian National Occupancy Standard (CNOS) for housing appropriateness is sensitive to both household size and composition. CNOS assesses the bedroom requirements of a household by specifying that:
Households living in dwellings where this standard cannot be met are considered to be overcrowded.
Enumeration of people in caravans varies depending on their situation. Occupied caravans are usually treated as private dwellings with the exception of some caravans on residential allotments.
See also Dwelling Structure.
The Australian Census of Population and Housing is an official count of population and dwellings, and collects details of age, sex, and other characteristics of that population. For more information see the Census page
<https://abs.gov.au/census>, How Australia Takes a Census, 2011 (cat. no. 2903.0) and the publication Census of Population and Housing: Nature and Content, Australia, 2016 (cat. no. 2008.0).
Census List Strategy
ABS obtained lists of addresses of supported accommodation and boarding houses from government bodies, individual Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS) providers and umbrella homelessness services organisations.
In 2016 ABS also sought information about what type of supported accommodation was provided i.e. whether it was crisis or transitional housing etc. Some of the lists ABS received included this extra detail, some did not.
Lists of boarding houses (both registered and illegal boarding house operations) were sought from jurisdictions and homelessness service providers in 2016 and were received from New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, and Northern Territory. Western Australia does not have a state-based register yet information is available at the local council level. Tasmania has no requirement to maintain a register, while legal boarding houses do not operate in Australian Capital Territory.
The Census counts people where they were located on Census night and this count of the population is referred to as the place of enumeration count. A count of the population based on their place of usual residence is also available. While every effort is made to achieve a complete Census count, some underenumeration inevitably occurs for various reasons, for example, the inadvertent omission of very young children, treatment of some dwellings as unoccupied when in fact they are occupied, and failure to find all dwellings. Refusal by householders to complete the Census form is not a significant cause of underenumeration.
This is a person of any age who is a natural, adopted, step, foster or nominal son or daughter of a couple or lone parent, usually resident in the same household. A child is also any individual under 15, usually resident in the household, who forms a parent-child relationship with another member of the household. This includes otherwise related children less than 15 years of age and unrelated children less than 15 years of age. In order to be classified as a child, the person can have no identified partner or child of his/her own usually resident in the household. A separate family in the household is formed in this instance. If a person is aged under 15 and has a partner and/or a spouse these relationships are not recorded.
Child aged under 15 years
This is a person who has been classified as a child of another household member and who is aged under 15 years. A person who is classified as a child aged under 15 is considered to be a dependent child.
Core Activity Need for Assistance
The Core Activity Need for Assistance variable has been developed to measure the number of people with a profound or severe disability. The variable was first included in the 2006 Census. For the Census, people with a profound or severe disability are defined as those people needing help or assistance in one or more of the three core activity areas of self-care, mobility and communication, because of a disability, long-term health condition (lasting six months or more) or old age.
The basic counting unit for homelessness estimation is the person. This counting unit provides for the richness of their personal characteristics (including relationships with others) for analysis as well as analysis by their living situation.
Country of Birth
The Census records a person's country of birth. The Standard Australian Classification of Countries (SACC), 2016 (cat. no. 1269.0) is used to classify responses for Country of Birth. This classification uses the current names of countries, so if a person uses a former name, the current name is coded. For example, Siam would be coded to Thailand.
A couple family is identified by the existence of a couple relationship. A couple relationship is defined as two people usually residing in the same household who share a social, economic and emotional bond usually associated with marriage and who consider their relationship to be a marriage or marriage-like union. This relationship is identified by the presence of a registered marriage or de facto marriage. A couple family can be with or without children, and may or may not include other related individuals.
Each stage of the Census is subject to stringent quality assurance procedures which result in data of high quality. However, in a Census there are recognised sources of error and some of these may survive in the data produced. Potential sources of error in the Census are: underenumeration, respondent error, processing error and introduced random error. Introduced random error is used to protect the confidentiality of individuals. The effect of such errors on overall Census results is generally insignificant and does not impair the usefulness of Census data.
Yet, as homelessness estimates are estimated from Census using analytical techniques, using both the characteristics observed in the Census and assumptions about the way people may have responded to particular Census questions, there are limitations of the Census data where underestimation or overestimation may occur for some homeless groups.
See also Overestimation and Underestimation.
Discrete Community and Remote Areas Strategy
The ABS has implemented procedures tailored to the enumeration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in discrete communities and remote areas since the 1976 Census. These targeted procedures are in place to improve coverage, accuracy and quality of the data. At a broad level, these procedures include:
Prior to enumeration, Local Engagement Managers are employed in select areas, with an aim of undertaking local engagement and intelligence gathering, to work with the Regional Management Unit to lay the groundwork for a successful enumeration by working with local organisations to raise awareness, and to build networks that can assist in identifying applicants for the new positions. In Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and some remote areas, a tailored interview form is used. In these cases the staff employed to undertake the enumeration train and work with people from the community so that the people from the community can conduct the interviews. In other pre-defined areas, with high Indigenous populations, Census staff provide a greater level of support in completing Census forms by offering to conduct an interview if necessary.
See also Interviewer Household form
Violence by any member of the person's household (e.g. partners, parents, siblings, children, housemates, and other household members).
A dwelling is a structure which is intended to have people live in it, and which is habitable on Census night. Some examples of dwellings are houses, motels, flats, caravans, prisons, tents, humpies and houseboats. Private dwellings are enumerated using online or paper household forms, which obtain family and relationship data as well as information on the dwelling itself such as rent or mortgage payments and ownership.
Non-private dwellings (hotels, hospitals etc.) are enumerated on personal forms.
All occupied dwellings are counted in the Census. Unoccupied private dwellings are also counted. This includes unoccupied units in retirement villages (self-contained). Unoccupied residences of owners, managers or caretakers of caravan parks, marinas and manufactured home estates are also counted, but other unoccupied dwellings in such establishments are not counted. Non-private dwellings with zero occupancy on Census Night are not included in the homelessness estimates.
Dwelling Location applies to private dwellings, and describes the location of dwellings other than 'typical' private dwellings. The majority of private dwellings will appear in the 'Other' category.
There has been a change in the way this information is collected. In 2016, it was recorded by ABS Address Canvassing Officers in the lead up to the Census as part of establishing the Address Register as a mail-out frame for designated areas. In areas enumerated using the traditional approach of delivering forms, the information was collected by ABS Field Officers during the Census collection period. Location of private dwelling data was also updated as required by ABS Field Officers during the 2016 Census enumeration period.
This variable classifies the structure of private dwellings enumerated in the Census.
There has been a change in the way this information is collected. In 2016, it was recorded by ABS Address Canvassing Officers in the lead up to the Census as part of establishing the Address Register as a mail-out frame for designated areas. In areas enumerated using the traditional approach of delivering forms, the information was collected by ABS Field Officers during the Census collection period. Location of private dwelling data was also updated as required by ABS Field Officers during the 2016 Census enumeration period.
Prior to the 2016 Census, Caravans data were grouped together with cabin and houseboat. For the 2016 Census this will be available separately through an individual caravan category. Cabin and houseboat data remain together.
The broad categories are:
Separate house: This is a house which is separated from other dwellings by a space of at least half a metre. A separate house may have a flat attached to it, such as a granny flat or converted garage (the flat is categorised under Flat or apartment - see below). The number of storeys of separate houses is not recorded. Also included in this category are occupied accommodation units in manufactured home estates which are identified as separate houses.
Semi-detached, row or terrace house, townhouse, etc.: These dwellings have their own private grounds and no other dwelling above or below them. They are either attached in some structural way to one or more dwellings or are separated from neighbouring dwellings by less than half a metre.
Flat or apartment: This category includes all dwellings in blocks of flats or apartments. These dwellings do not have their own private grounds and usually share a common entrance foyer or stairwell. This category also includes flats attached to houses such as granny flats, and houses converted into two or more flats.
Caravan: This category includes all occupied caravans, regardless of where they are located. Occupied campervans are also included. For further detailed information see Caravans in this glossary.
Cabins and Houseboats: This category includes all occupied cabins and houseboats. Cabins are self-contained and not intended for long term residential use. This includes occupied cabins located in residential parks or set up as temporary accommodation. A Houseboat is an occupied mobile dwelling (intended for use on water). It is not typically intended for long term use (although it could be currently used on a permanent or semi-permanent basis). Occupied houseboats are treated as occupied private dwellings regardless of location. It also includes occupied small boats.
Improvised home, tent, sleepers-out: This category includes sheds, tents, humpies and other improvised dwellings, occupied on Census night. This category also includes people sleeping out, such as those sleeping on the streets, in abandoned buildings, under bridges or in cars.
House or flat attached to a shop, office, etc.: A house or flat attached to a shop, office, factory or any other non-residential structure is included in this category.
See also Caravans, Dwelling, Dwelling Location, Dwelling Type, Tenure Type, Type of Non-Private Dwelling.
There has been a change in the way this information is collected. In 2016, it was recorded by ABS Address Canvassing Officers in the lead up to the Census as part of establishing the Address Register as a mail-out frame for designated areas. In areas enumerated using the traditional approach of delivering forms, the information was collected by ABS Field Officers during the Census collection period. Dwelling type was also updated as required by ABS Field Officers during the 2016 Census enumeration period.
Dwelling Type classifies all dwellings into the basic dwelling types. The categories are:
Occupied Private Dwelling: An occupied private dwelling is a private dwelling occupied by one or more people. A private dwelling is most often a house or flat. It can also be a caravan, houseboat, tent, or a house attached to an office, or rooms above a shop. Occupied dwellings in caravan/residential parks or camping grounds are treated as occupied private dwellings. Dwellings located in caravan/residential parks or camping grounds can be identified by using the variable Dwelling Location.
Unoccupied Private Dwellings: These are structures built specifically for living purposes which are habitable, but unoccupied on Census night. Vacant houses, holiday homes, huts and cabins (other than seasonal workers' quarters) are counted as unoccupied private dwellings. Also included are newly completed dwellings not yet occupied, dwellings which are vacant because they are due for demolition or repair, and dwellings to let. Unoccupied private dwellings in caravan/residential parks, marinas and manufactured home estates are not counted in the Census. The exception to this is residences of owners, managers or caretakers of the establishment and, from the 2006 Census, unoccupied residences in retirement villages (self-contained).
Non-Private Dwellings (NPD): NPDs are those dwellings, not included above, that provide a communal or transitory type of accommodation. They are classified according to their function for the variable Type of Non-Private Dwelling. NPDs include hotels, motels, guest houses, prisons, religious and charitable institutions, boarding schools, defence establishments, hospitals and other communal dwellings. People in NPDs are enumerated on personal forms and so information on their family structure is not available. In the case of accommodation for the retired or aged, where the one establishment contains both self-contained units and units that are not self-contained, then both household forms (self-contained) and personal forms (not self-contained) are used as appropriate. Unoccupied NPDs are not enumerated in the Census, with the exception of residences of owners, managers or caretakers within an NPD.
Migratory: People enumerated on an overnight journey by plane, train or bus cannot be allocated a dwelling type. This category exists for processing purposes only.
Off-Shore: This includes dwellings such as off-shore oil rigs, drilling platforms and the like. Prior to the 2006 Census, it also included people enumerated aboard ships in Australian waters.
Shipping: This dwelling type is for people enumerated aboard ships in Australian waters. For the 2001 and earlier Censuses, they were included in the 'Offshore' category.
See also Dwelling Location, Dwelling Structure, and Type of Non-Private Dwelling.
See Level of Highest Educational Attainment.
Every Census since 1911 has included a question in which respondents reported their highest level of educational achievement. In the 1966 Census, respondents were asked to provide details of the qualification title and the institution at which it was obtained. In all Censuses since 1966, people aged 15 years and over have been asked whether they had obtained a qualification and, if so, the qualification name and field of study. The 1971 Census also asked whether the person was currently studying for a qualification and, if so, its name. Prior to 2001, this information was restricted to post-school educational qualifications. From 2001, the information includes all qualifications (both school and post-school) and the level and field of the highest qualification.
See Labour Force Status.
See Place of enumeration, Place of Usual Residence.
Estimated Resident Population (ERP)
The Estimated Resident Population (ERP) is the official measure of the Australian population, and is based on the concept of usual residence. It refers to all people, regardless of nationality or citizenship, who usually live in Australia, with the exception of foreign diplomatic personnel and their families. The ERP includes usual residents who are overseas for less than 12 months and excludes overseas visitors who are in Australia for less then 12 months.
A family is defined by the ABS as two or more persons, one of whom is at least 15 years of age, who are related by blood, marriage (registered or de facto), adoption, step or fostering, and who are usually resident in the same household.
Each separately identified couple relationship, lone parent-child relationship or other blood relationship forms the basis of a family. Some households contain more than one family.
Non-related persons living in the same household are not counted as family members (unless under 15 years of age).
Visiting families are not included as part of the household, and the relationships of other visitors are not coded. A household containing only a visiting family (e.g. a family at a holiday home) is coded to a household type of visitors only.
Where all persons present are aged under 15 years, or where information for each person has been imputed, the household is deemed not classifiable to a family. Of people listed as temporarily absent, only spouse(s) and family children are used in coding family composition.
Violence against a person by any family member (e.g. sibling, resident and non-resident family members).
Full/Part-Time Student Status
The Census records the full/part-time status of students.
General Social Survey (GSS)
The General Social Survey aims to collect data for persons aged 15 years and over on a range of social dimensions from the same individual to enable analysis of the interrelationships in social circumstances and outcomes, including the exploration of multiple advantage and disadvantage experienced in Australia.
Grey nomads are defined as people in dwellings where all people in the dwelling were aged 55 years and over, were not in the labour force, and were staying in caravans, cabins or houseboats on Census night, and reported having no usual address. The majority of these grey nomads were enumerated in holiday destinations.
The ABS defines a group household as a household consisting of two or more unrelated people where all persons are aged 15 years and over. There are no reported couple relationships, parent-child relationships or other blood relationships in these households.
An unrelated child (e.g. boarder) under the age of 15 who lives in a household with one or more usual residents, is coded as forming a parent-child relationship within that household. These households become family households, not group households.
Highest Year of School Completed
The Census records the highest level of primary or secondary school a person has completed. Highest year of school completed is classified to the Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED).
This classification has changed since the 2001 Census. In 2001 it included a category 'Still at school'. The 'Still at school' category is excluded from the 2011 and 2006 classification. This allows the level of highest educational attainment to be determined for people still at school.
Homeless Enumeration Strategy
Everyone in Australia at Census time needs to be counted in the Census, excluding foreign diplomats and their families, no matter where they may be sleeping on Census night. To achieve this, the ABS has developed a strategy to obtain the best possible enumeration of people, no matter where they sleep. Some aspects of this strategy include liaising with service providers and engaging specialised field staff to count people sleeping rough on a special interview based form, and providing the ability for people to respond to the usual residence question as 'none' if they have no usual residence.
The ABS definition of homelessness is informed by an understanding of homelessness as 'home'lessness, not rooflessness. Homelessness is therefore a lack of one or more of the elements that represent 'home'. In accordance with this definition, when a person does not have suitable accommodation alternatives they are considered homeless if their current living arrangement:
See for more information the Information Paper - A Statistical Definition of Homelessness, 2012 (cat. no. 4922.0).
Homeless Operational Groups
ABS has developed six homeless operational groups for presenting estimates of people enumerated in the Census who were likely to have been homeless on Census night.
These groups are:
See the 'Explanatory Notes' tab of this publication for information on other marginal housing groups.
Homelessness Statistics Reference Group (HSRG)
Advisory group to the ABS on the development, collection, compilation, production and dissemination of robust statistics for the use in analysing, understanding and reporting on homelessness in Australia.
The Census records the number of hours worked in all jobs held during the week before Census night, by employed people aged 15 years and over. This excludes any time off but includes any overtime or extra time worked. Hours worked, when used in combination with Labour Force Status, provides information on full-time and part-time employment. For Census purposes, a person is considered to be working full-time if they worked 35 hours or more in all jobs during the week prior to Census night.
Occupied houseboats have been classified as occupied private dwellings since the 1986 Census, and therefore receive household forms. Unoccupied houseboats are not counted.
A household is defined as one or more persons, at least one of whom is at least 15 years of age, usually resident in the same private dwelling. Under this definition, all occupants of a dwelling form a household and complete one form. Therefore, for Census purposes, the total number of households is equal to the total number of occupied private dwellings as a Census form is completed for each household from which dwelling information for the household is obtained.
The Census records the type of household within a dwelling. Household Composition indicates whether a family is present or not and whether or not other unrelated household members are present.
A maximum of three families can be coded to a household. Lone person households can contain visitors. Visitor only households can contain overseas visitors.
The household form is the primary means for collecting Census data and is used in all private dwellings. A personal form records person characteristics in cases where a household form is not appropriate. If there are more than six people in a household on Census night, a personal form is completed for the seventh person and any subsequent persons.
Household is the sum of the individual incomes of each resident present in the household on Census night. If any resident aged 15 years and over is temporarily absent, or does not state their income, then a value for Total Household Income is not derived for that household. These households will be categorised as: 'Partial income stated' or 'All incomes not stated'.
The 2011 and 2006 Censuses collected individual income in ranges, so before these could be summed to a household level a specific dollar amount needed to be imputed for each person. Median incomes for each range, derived using data from the 2003–04 and 2007–08 Survey of Income and Housing, were used for the purpose of compiling household income measures. For more information see the Information Paper: Survey of Income and Housing, User Guide, Australia, 2007–08 (cat. no. 6553.0) and the Household Expenditure Survey and Survey of Income and Housing: User Guide, 2003–04 (cat. no. 6503.0)
This method, which imputes personal income values within reported individual income ranges, was selected as the best practical approximation that would result in the majority of households being included in the same Census household income range that would have been derived had individuals reported their incomes in dollar amounts rather than in ranges. The approximations are expected to generally support analyses looking at various other characteristics of both persons and households in terms of broad household income ranges.
The imputation used in deriving household income is likely to understate some household incomes, specifically lower household incomes in general but particularly for single income households. Single income households with lower income levels are most affected by the imputation methodology understating their incomes.
A more general issue with individual income reporting in the Census is that studies have shown individuals tend to understate their incomes compared with the amounts that would be reported in surveys designed specifically to measure income.
For the above reasons, care should be exercised in any use of Census household income information, which relies on the imputed values. Similar care should be taken when using 2001 Census data.
See Explanatory notes for more information.
See Household Composition.
See Canadian National Occupancy Standard (CNOS).
See Dwelling; Dwelling Structure.
Imputation is a statistical process for predicting values where no response was provided to a question and a response could not be derived.
Where no Census form is returned, the number of males and females in 'non-contact' private dwellings may be imputed. In addition, the following key demographic variables may also be imputed if they are 'Not stated':
The imputation method used since the 2006 Census is known as 'hotdecking'. In general this method involves locating a donor record and copying the relevant responses to the record requiring imputation. The donor record will have similar characteristics and must also have the required variable(s) stated. In addition the donor record will be located geographically as close as possible to the location of the record to be imputed. The match must occur within the same Capital City or Balance of State
The methodology for imputation is tailored depending on whether no Census form or a partially completed form was returned.
See Explanatory Notes for more information
Each Census respondent aged 15 years and over is asked to indicate the range within which their gross income from all sources lies (rather than their exact income).
Total income, also referred to as gross income, is the sum of income received from all sources before any deductions such as income tax, the Medicare Levy or salary sacrificed amounts are taken out. It includes wages, salaries, overtime, business or farm income (less operating expenses), rents received, dividends, interest, superannuation, maintenance (child support), workers' compensation, and government pensions and allowances (including all payments for family assistance, labour market assistance, youth and student support, and support for the aged, carers and people with a disability).
As income from most sources is reported before deduction of expenses incurred in the earning of the income, these incomes are always a positive figure. However, income from some sources may be negative. Income from own unincorporated enterprise and income from rental property are collected net of expenses incurred in the raising of income, so may be negative. This may result in a negative total income.
While there is a tendency for incomes to be slightly understated in the Census, the distribution is largely consistent with that obtained from the ABS income surveys. Therefore, Census income data is useful as an indicator of relative advantage or disadvantage and economic well being.
Testing of the topic has shown that there is a general tendency for those not in the labour force to leave this question unanswered, as they consider income only applies to payments received as a result of employment. Similarly, pensioners and self funded retirees sometimes state that they receive no income as they do not regard their pension as income.
The question about Indigenous origins on the Census form asks whether each person is of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin. Torres Strait Islanders are the descendants of the Indigenous people of the Torres Strait, between the tip of Cape York and Papua New Guinea.
Individual incomes are collected as ranges in the Census. To enable these range values to be summed, information from the Survey of Income and Housing, which collects income as individual values, is used to estimate the median income within each bracket collected by the Census. The relevant median value for each family/household member is then summed to produce family or household income.
See also Income, Household income
Industry of employment
Industry of employment describes the industries in which employed people aged 15 years and over work. The Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) was used in classifying the responses given to the industry questions for the 2006 Census.
Interviewer household form
The Interviewer Household Form is used in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities (and areas where language differences or other factors make use of the standard self-enumeration forms impractical). The Interviewer Household Form is an interview based Census form which is used to record the details of up to 12 persons in a household, and some dwelling data. If there are more than 12 persons in a dwelling additional Interviewer Household Forms are used.
See also Discrete Community and Remote Areas Strategy.
Introduced random error
Under the Census and Statistics Act, 1905 it is an offence to release any information collected under the Act that is likely to enable identification of any particular individual or organisation. Introduced random error is used to ensure that no data are released which could risk the identification of individuals in the statistics.
Many classifications used in ABS statistics have an uneven distribution of data throughout their categories. For example, the number of people who are Anglican or born in Italy is quite large (3,679,907 and 185,403 respectively in 2011), while the number of people who are Buddhist or born in Chile (528,981 and 24,937 respectively in 2011), is relatively small. When religion is cross-classified with country of birth, the number in the table cell who are Anglican and who were born in Italy could be small, and the number of Buddhists born in Chile even smaller. These small numbers increase the risk of identifying individuals in the statistics.
Even when variables are more evenly distributed in the classifications, the problem still occurs. The more detailed the classifications, and the more of them that are applied in constructing a table, the greater the incidence of very small cells.
Care is taken in the specification of tables to minimise the risk of identifying individuals. In addition, a technique has been developed to randomly adjust cell values. Random adjustment of the data is considered to be the most satisfactory technique for avoiding the release of identifiable Census data. When the technique is applied, all cells are slightly adjusted to prevent any identifiable data being exposed. These adjustments result in small introduced random errors. However, the information value of the table as a whole is not impaired. The technique allows very large tables, for which there is a strong client demand, to be produced even though they contain numbers of very small cells.
The counts and totals in summary tables are subjected to small adjustments. These adjustments may cause the sum of rows or columns to differ by small amounts from table totals. The counts are adjusted independently in a controlled manner, so the same information is adjusted by the same amount. However, tables at higher geographic levels may not be equal to the sum of the tables for the component geographic units.
It is not possible to determine which individual figures have been affected by random error adjustments, but the small variance which may be associated with derived totals can, for the most part, be ignored.
No reliance should be placed on small cells as they are impacted by random adjustment, respondent and processing errors.
Many different classifications are used in Census tables and the tables are produced for a variety of geographical areas. The effect of the introduced random error is minimised if the statistic required is found direct from a tabulation rather than from aggregating more finely classified data. Similarly, rather than aggregating data from small areas to obtain statistics about a larger standard geographic area, published data for the larger area should be used wherever possible.
When calculating proportions, percentages or ratios from cross-classified or small area tables, the random error introduced can be ignored except when very small cells are involved, in which case the impact on percentages and ratios can be significant.
For Census purposes, the labour force includes people aged 15 years and over who:
The following people are classified as being in the labour force:
People aged 15 years and over who are neither employed nor unemployed are classified as not in the labour force. This includes people who are retired, pensioners and people engaged solely in home duties (unpaid).
Labour Force Status
In the Census the Labour Force Status variable is derived for all people aged 15 years and over. It classifies people as employed working full-time, part-time or away from work, unemployed looking for full-time work, looking for part-time work, or not in the labour force. The category 'Employed, away from work' also includes persons who stated they worked but who did not state the number of hours worked.
Labour Force Status is derived using responses to questions on:
The derivation methodology takes into account answers to these questions to derive the most appropriate Labour Force Status.
This variable provides information on the type of landlord for rented dwellings. It applies to all households who are renting the dwelling (including caravans, etc. in caravan parks) in which they are enumerated on Census night.
Level of Highest Educational Attainment
Records the highest educational achievement a person aged 15 years and over has attained. It lists qualifications and other educational attainments regardless of the particular field of study or the type of institution in which the study was undertaken.
Local Government Areas (LGA)
The ASGS Local Government Areas are an ABS approximation of gazetted local government boundaries as defined by each State and Territory Local Government Department. Local Government Areas cover incorporated areas of Australia. Incorporated areas are legally designated parts of a State or Territory over which incorporated local governing bodies have responsibility. The major areas of Australia not administered by incorporated bodies are the northern parts of South Australia, and all of the Australian Capital Territory and the Other Territories. These regions are identified as ‘Unincorporated’ in the ASGS Local Government Areas structure. LGA is an ASGS Non-ABS structure.
More information on local governments can be found at the Australian Local Government Association website: http://www.alga.asn.au
Location of dwelling
See Dwelling Location
A lone parent is a person who has no spouse or partner usually resident in the household, but who forms a parent-child relationship with at least one child usually resident in the household. The child may be either dependent or non-dependent.
Lone person household
Any private dwelling in which there is only one usual resident at least 15 years of age, is classified as being a lone person household.
Marginally Housing Groups
The ABS present, alongside the homeless estimates from the Census, estimates of the number of people in selected marginal housing circumstances. These marginal housing groups not only provide an indication of the numbers of people living in marginal housing close to the boundary of homelessness, but can also provide a possible indication of people who may be at risk of homelessness.
Three marginal housing groups are classified from the Census:
The mean is calculated by summing the values of all observations in a set of data and then dividing by the number of observations in the set. Thus: mean = sum of all the observed values / number of observations.
The median is the value that divides a set of data exactly in half. It is the middle value when the values in a set of data are arranged in order. If there is no middle value (i.e. there is an even number of values) then the median is calculated by determining the mean of the two middle values. Thus: median = the middle value of a set of data.
These variables record the mortgage repayments being paid by a household to purchase the dwelling in which they were enumerated on Census night (also applicable to caravans).
The Census collects this information in single dollars up to $9,999. However, for practical purposes this information is recoded to a specific number of ranges for standard Census products.
Since 2011, Nil repayments is recorded as $0. Prior to 2011 a response of nil was coded to 'Not stated'.
A person aged 15 years or more, who is a natural, adopted, step, or foster child of a couple or lone parent usually resident in the same household, who is not a full-time student aged 15–24 years, and who has no identified partner or child of his/her own usually resident in the household.
See Type of Non-Private Dwelling.
Non-School Qualification: Level of Education
This variable describes the level of education of the highest completed non-school qualification (e.g. Bachelor Degree, Diploma).
The full classification for levels of education, together with an explanation of the conceptual basis of the classification, can be found in the publication Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED), 2001 (cat. no. 1272.0).
Not in the labour force
Persons not in the labour force are those persons who, during the week prior to Census night, were neither employed nor unemployed. They include persons who were keeping house (unpaid), retired, voluntarily inactive, permanently unable to work, in gaol, trainee teachers, members of contemplative religious orders, and persons whose only activity during the week prior to Census night was jury service or unpaid voluntary work for a charitable organisation.
Number of Bedrooms in Private Dwelling
This dwelling variable provides a count of the number of bedrooms in each occupied private dwelling, including caravans in caravan parks.
Occupation information is collected in the Census for all employed people aged 15 years and over. Two questions are used in the Census:
Collecting both occupation title and task information ensures more accurate coding of occupations.
For 2016, targeted supplementary questions on occupation, asking more specialised questions based on the initial response, have been added to the online census forms, to provide better quality fine-level data. Common occupation responses from 2011 which were difficult to code to an appropriate level of detail, for example 'nurse', are targeted by these questions.
The 2016 Census uses the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO), 2013, Version 1.2 (cat. no. 1220.0) to code occupation data.
Occupied private dwelling
Homelessness is a phenomenon becoming more prevalent among the older population, aged 55 years and over. It generally relates to the inability to maintain or find housing due to a sudden change in an older person's circumstances; such as retirement, divorce, death of a partner/spouse, affordable housing and barriers to employment.
Households living in dwellings requiring extra bedrooms according to the Canadian National Occupancy Standard (CNOS).
See Canadian National Occupancy Standard (CNOS).
In the context of estimating homelessness overestimation occurs when persons who are represented in the underlying data set are misclassified as homeless when they are not.
See also Undercount and/or underenumeration, Underestimation.
See Visitors to Australia.
A person identified as being in a couple relationship with another person usually resident in the same household is a partner. The couple relationship is established through reporting of either a registered or de facto marriage, and includes same-sex couples.
Any incident of sexual assault, threatened sexual assault, physical assault or threatened or attempted physical assault by a current and/or previous partner.
The Census personal form records details for one person only. It contains the same questions as the household form, but excludes the household questions. The personal form is used:
Personal Safety Survey (PSS)
The Personal Safety Survey aims to collect information about men's and women's experience of physical or sexual assault or threat by male and female perpetrators. Experiences of the different types of violence, since the age of 15, by different types of male and female perpetrators (including current partner, previous partner, boyfriend/girlfriend or date, other known man or women, and stranger) is explored. More detailed information, such as where the incident occurred and what action was taken, can be obtained for most recent incidents of each of the different types of violence by a male and female perpetrator. Additional information is also collected about respondent experiences of current and previous partner violence such as frequency and fears of violence, incidents of stalking and other forms of harassment and general feelings of safety.
Persons living in improvised dwellings, tents or sleeping out
The ABS homelessness operational group for people considered to be homeless who were in improvised dwellings, tents or sleeping out on Census night. For information about rules for estimating persons in this group see 'Appendix 2: Estimation Methodology', available from the 'Explanatory Notes' tab of this publication.
Persons in supported accommodation for the homeless
The ABS homelessness operational group for people considered to be homeless who were in supported accommodation for the homeless on Census night. This includes persons staying in dwellings classified as 'Hostels for the homeless, night shelter' as well as dwellings identified through the Census 'list' strategy. Census 'list' strategy. In 2011 and 2006, there was an additional 'green sticker' strategy, whereby a physical sticker was census form in some sensitive supported dwellings. This was discontinued for 2016.
For further information about rules for estimating persons in this group see 'Appendix 2: Estimation Methodology', available from the 'Explanatory Notes' tab of this publication.
Persons staying temporarily with other households
The ABS homelessness operational group for people considered to be homeless who were staying temporarily with other households on Census night. This group also includes some people who were homeless who are in 'visitor only' households. Some people who are homeless are likely to be underestimated in this category such as youth, those escaping domestic and family violence and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.
For information about rules for estimating persons in this group see 'Appendix 2: Estimation Methodology', available from the 'Explanatory Notes' tab of this publication.
Persons living in boarding houses
The ABS homelessness operational group for people considered to be homeless who were in boarding houses on Census night. Estimation techniques are designed to take account of legal and illegal boarding houses in the estimates. As a result this category is larger than the number of people enumerated in the non-private dwellings classified as "boarding house, private hotel". For information about rules for estimating persons in this group see 'Appendix 2: Estimation Methodology', available from the 'Explanatory Notes' tab of this publication.
Persons in other temporary lodgings
The ABS homelessness operational group for people considered to be homeless who had no usual address and were in other temporary lodgings: 'hotel, motel, bed and breakfast' on Census night. For information about rules for estimating persons in this group see 'Appendix 2: Estimation Methodology', available from the 'Explanatory Notes' tab of this publication.
Persons living in 'severely' crowded dwellings
The ABS homelessness operational group for people considered to be homeless who were living in severely crowded dwellings on Census night. This is operationalised in the Census as those people who were enumerated in a private dwelling that they were usual residents of and, according to the Canadian National Occupancy Standard (CNOS), the dwelling required four or more extra bedrooms to accommodate them. For information about rules for estimating persons in this group see 'Appendix 2: Estimation Methodology', available from the 'Explanatory Notes' tab of this publication.
See also Canadian National Occupancy Standard.
Persons living in other crowded dwellings
The ABS group showing people who were marginally housed in other crowded dwellings on Census night. This is operationalised in the Census as those people who were enumerated in a private dwelling that they were usual residents of and, according to the Canadian National Occupancy Standard (CNOS), the dwelling required three extra bedrooms to accommodate them. For information about rules for estimating persons in this group see 'Appendix 2: Estimation Methodology', available from the 'Explanatory Notes' tab of this publication.
See also Canadian National Occupancy Standard.
Persons in other improvised dwellings
The ABS group showing people who were marginally housed. This includes people who were enumerated on Census night in the dwelling category of an 'improvised home, tent or sleepers out' who reported either being 'at home' on Census night or having no usual address, and are not considered, on balance, to be homeless. For information about rules for estimating persons in this group see 'Appendix 2: Estimation Methodology', available from the 'Explanatory Notes' tab of this publication.
Persons who are marginally housed in caravan parks
The ABS group showing people who were marginally housed and living in caravan parks where they reported a usual address in a caravan, cabin or houseboat in a caravan park and are unlikely to have accommodation alternatives For information about rules for estimating persons in this group see 'Appendix 2: Estimation Methodology', available from the 'Explanatory Notes' tab of this publication.
Place of birth
See Country of birth.
Place of enumeration
The place of enumeration is the place at which the person is counted i.e. where they spent Census night, which may not be where the persons usually lives.
Place of usual residence
This is the place where a person usually lives. It may, or may not be the place where the person was counted on Census night.
Place of usual residence five years ago
Place of usual residence five years ago identifies a person's place of usual residence five years before the Census.
Census count of persons based on their reported place of usual residence.
Post Enumeration Survey (PES)
A measure of the undercount in the Census is obtained from a sample survey of households undertaken shortly after the Census, called the Post Enumeration Survey (PES). It collects information about where people were on Census night and their characteristics, which are compared to the actual Census forms. The PES found an undercount of 1.0% in the 2016 Census, compared to 1.8% in 2001, 2.7% in 2006 and 1.7% in the 2011 Census.
The PES is only conducted in private dwellings therefore it cannot be used to estimate the undercount of homeless people on Census night.
Proficiency in Spoken English
Proficiency in Spoken English refers to persons who speak a language other than English at home, who report their self-assessed proficiency in spoken English. It should be regarded as an indicator of a person's ability to speak English rather than a definitive measure of his/her ability and should be interpreted with care.
Registered Marital Status
Registered Marital Status reports responses to the question 'What is the person's present marital status?' and refers to the legal status of the person, and not necessarily his/her current living arrangement. The partners in a registered marriage must be of the opposite sex as same-sex relationships could not be registered as marriages in Australia at the time of the 2016 Census. Marital status is applicable to people aged 15 years and over.
Relationship in Household
This variable describes the relationship of each person in a family to the Family reference person or, where a person is not part of a family, that person's relationship to the Household reference person.
Children who are usually resident in the household are classified as dependent if they form a parent-child relationship and are either 0–14 years of age; or they are 15–24 years of age and also a full-time student (in secondary or tertiary education). Children who are aged 15–24 years who are not full-time students and children aged 25 years and over are classified as non-dependent children. Children who are aged 25 years and over with a child or partner of his/her own, or who are full-time students aged 15–24 years of age with a child or partner of his/her own, are classified according to that relationship.
See Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS).
The Census records the individual dollar amounts of rent paid by households on a weekly basis for the dwelling in which they were enumerated on Census night. This includes caravans etc. in caravan parks. The categories range from $0–$9,999 in single dollar amounts.
See Dwelling; Household; Usual residence.
Residential Status in a Non-Private Dwelling
The Census records whether people enumerated in non-private dwellings (such as motels, hospitals, colleges etc.) are staying there as either: members of staff of the accommodation (e.g. owner, proprietor, porter, cook, teacher, warden, family of owner or family of staff); or residents, guests, patients, inmates, etc.
No information on family relationships is available for people in non-private dwellings because they are numerated using personal forms.
Scope and coverage
The 2016 Census of Population and Housing aims to count every person who spent Census night, 9 August 2016, in Australia. This includes people in the six states, the Northern Territory, the Australian Capital Territory, Jervis Bay Territory, and the Territories of Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Norfolk Island. The other Australian external territories (minor islands such as Heard and McDonald Islands), are outside the scope of the Australian Census.
People who leave Australia but who are not required to undertake migration formalities, for example those on oil and gas rigs off the Australian coast, and expeditioners to Australian bases in the Australian Antarctic Territory (and other locations) are included in the Census. They are coded to an Off-Shore Statistical Areas Level 1 in Tasmania.
Visitors to Australia are included regardless of how long they have been in the country or how long they plan to stay. The only groups of people who spend Census night in Australia but are excluded from the Census are foreign diplomats and their families, this derives from the Vienna Convention. In practice, a diplomat is defined as someone entitled to travel on a diplomatic passport. Foreign crew members on ships who remain on the ship and do not undertake migration formalities are also out of scope of the Census.
All private dwellings, except diplomatic dwellings, are included in the Census, whether occupied or unoccupied. Caravans in caravan parks and manufactured homes in manufactured home estates, are counted only if they are occupied. Occupied non-private dwellings, such as hospitals, prisons, hotels, etc. are also included, however unoccupied non-private dwellings are out of scope. Unoccupied residences of owners, managers or caretakers of such establishments are counted.
For more detail see Census of Population and Housing - Census Dictionary, 2016 (cat. no. 2901.0).
Self-enumeration is the term used to describe the way Census data are collected. The Census forms are generally completed by householders (or individuals in non-private dwellings) rather than by interviewers, although Interviewers are available in some areas.
The sex of each person enumerated in the Census is recorded as being either male or female.
See Dwelling Structure.
Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas - Index of Relative Socio-economic Disadvantage (IRSD)
The Index of Relative Socio-Economic Disadvantage (IRSD) is a general socio-economic index that summarises a wide range of information about the economic and social resources of people and households within an area. Because this index focuses on disadvantage, only measures of relative disadvantage are included. This means that a high score (or decile) reflects a relative lack of disadvantage rather than relative advantage.
This index summarises 17 different measures, such as low income, low education, high unemployment and unskilled occupations. A low score indicates relatively greater disadvantage in general. For example, an area could have a low score if there are (among other things) many households with low income, many people with no qualifications, or many people in low-skilled occupations.
A high score indicates a relative lack of disadvantage in general. For example, an area may have a high score if there are (among other things) few households with low incomes, few people with no qualifications or in low-skilled occupations.
Specialist Homelessness Service (SHS) Collection
The Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS) collection obtains information about people, adults and children, who seek assistance from specialist homelessness agencies. Services can include accommodation provision, assistance to sustain housing, domestic/family violence services, mental health services, family/relationship assistance, disability services, drug/alcohol counselling, legal/financial services, immigration/cultural services, other specialist services and general assistance and support.
This collection is complied by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). This collection only includes organisations that receive government funding to deliver specialist homelessness services, and can be either not-for-profit or for profit agencies.
This collection replaces the Supported Accommodation Assistance Program (SAAP) National Data Collection in 2001.
See also Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
State and Territory
States/Territories are the largest spatial unit in the ASGS and are part of the Main Structure within ABS Structures. There are six states and six territories in the ASGS:
These spatial units are political entities with fixed boundaries. In aggregate, they cover Australia without gaps or overlaps.
See also Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS).
Statistical Areas Level 1 (SA1s)
The Statistical Area Level 1 (SA1) is the second smallest geographic area defined in the ASGS, the smallest being the Mesh Block. SA1s are built from whole Mesh Blocks. Whole SA1s aggregate directly to SA2s in the ASGS Main Structure.
Statistical Area Level 2 (SA2)
The SA2s are a general-purpose medium-sized area built from whole SA1s. Their aim is to represent a community that interacts together socially and economically. Whole SA2s aggregate directly to SA3s in the Main Structure. SA2s do not cross State and Territory borders. In aggregate, they cover the whole of Australia without gaps or overlaps.
Statistical Area Level 3 (SA3)
The SA3s provide a standardised regional breakup of Australia. The aim of SA3s is to create a standard framework for the analysis of ABS data at the regional level through clustering groups of SA2s that have similar regional characteristics. SA3s are built from whole SA2s and aggregate directly to SA4s in the Main Structure.
Statistical Area Level 4 (SA4)
The SA4 regions are the largest sub-State regions in the Main Structure of the ASGS. They are designed for the output of labour force data and reflect labour markets within each State and Territory within the population limits imposed by the Labour Force Survey sample. SA4s provide the best sub-state socio-economic breakdown in the ASGS and in rural areas generally represent aggregations of multiple small labour markets with socioeconomic connections or similar industry characteristics. SA4s are built from whole SA3s and aggregate directly to States and Territories in the Main Structure.
See Full/Part-Time student status.
Supported Accommodation Assistance Program (SAAP)
The Supported Accommodation Assistance Program (SAAP) was established in 1985 to consolidate a number of Commonwealth, State and Territory government programs assisting people experiencing homelessness and those at risk of homelessness, including women escaping domestic violence.
In 2011, the SAAP collection was replaced with the Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS) collection.
Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (SDAC)
The Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (SDAC) aims to measure the prevalence of disability in Australia and levels of support needed, as well as providing a demographic and socio-economic profile of people with disability and older people (65 years and over) compared with the general population. It also provides information about people who provide care to older people and people with disability.
The Census form seeks information about people who usually reside in a dwelling but who are temporarily absent on Census night.
See Dwelling Structure.
Tenure Type describes whether a household is purchasing, rents or owns, the dwelling in which it was enumerated on Census night, or whether the household occupies it under another arrangement. Tenure Type is derived from the responses to a series of questions. It is applicable to all occupied private dwellings.
See State and Territory.
Torres Strait Islander people
People identified as being of Torres Strait Islander origin. May also include people identified as being of both Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal origin.
Type of Educational Institution Attending
The 2011 Census records the type of educational institution being attended by people who are full/part-time students. The categories cover pre-school through to tertiary institutions.
Type of Non-Private Dwelling
This variable records the type of non-private dwelling in which people were enumerated on Census night. Non-private dwellings are establishments which provide a communal type of accommodation. Examples of the information collected are: Hotel, motel; Boarding house, private hotel; Public hospital (not psychiatric); and Child care institution.
Hotels and private hotels are categorised differently within Type of Non-Private Dwelling (NPDD). This is mainly because of differences in length of residency, service provision, and how the hotel/private hotel classifies itself.
There has been a change in the way this information is collected. In 2016, it was recorded by ABS Address Canvassing Officers in the lead up to the Census as part of establishing the Address Register as a mail-out frame for designated areas. In areas enumerated using the traditional approach of delivering forms, the information was collected by ABS Field Officers during the Census collection period. Type of non-private dwelling data was also updated as required by ABS Field Officers during the 2016 Census enumeration period.
Undercount and/or underenumeration
Although extensive efforts are made to contact all occupied dwellings and count all unoccupied private dwellings in the Census, locating and contacting them all is not possible. Some dwellings may not be identified. For example, flats above or behind shops or attached to private dwellings may not be included in the Census. Analysis of the undercount in previous Censuses has shown that people away from their usual residence on Census night (for example, travelling, camping, staying in a non-private dwelling, or visiting friends) are more likely to be missed than people at home on Census night.
Even when a household is contacted, undercount is possible if not all members of the household can be included on the form (six people can be recorded on the paper form and ten on the online form) no extra online or paper forms are obtained. Undercount is also possible if the household, or a member of the household, refuses to cooperate and complete a Census form. A measure of the extent of underenumeration is obtained from the Post Enumeration Survey (PES). The official population estimates produced by the ABS take into account the results of the PES. However, the Census counts are not adjusted.
A measure of the extent of underenumeration is obtained from the Post Enumeration Survey (PES). The official population estimates produced by the ABS take into account the results of the PES. However, the Census counts are not adjusted. The PES is only conducted in private dwellings therefore it cannot be used to estimate the underenumeration of homeless people on Census night.
See also Post Enumeration Survey (PES).
The difficulty in isolating unique characteristics of the homeless population within the Census of Population and Housing can result in the misclassification of homeless persons, and subsequent underestimation of the homeless population. The complexity and diversity of persons homeless experiences, and person's not identifying themselves as homeless, increases the likelihood of underestimation of homelessness in particular groups, including Youth, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples', and people escaping domestic and family violence.
See Labour force status.
Unoccupied private dwelling
Census collects information from persons aged 15 years and over, separate from the labour force questions and covers the following topics:
Usual address information is used to code usual residence.
See Usual residence.
Usual residence data provide information on the usually resident population of an area, and on the internal migration patterns at the state and regional levels. The 2011, 2006 and 2001 Censuses had three questions on usual residence that asked where the person usually lived on Census night, and where the person usually lived one year ago and five years ago.
Family variables are only derived for people counted at their usual residence. 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. Family and household structures are based on persons usually resident. If all members of a family or household are temporarily absent, the family or household is not counted.
Visitor only households
For the purposes of homelessness estimation and estimating marginal housing, visitor only households are those dwellings where all persons in the dwelling reported no usual address and there were no usual residents.
See also Visitors to a household, Usual residence.
Visitors to a household
Characteristics of individual visitors to a household are available at the household of enumeration. Visitors may also be tabulated according to their Statistical Area Level 1 (SA1) of usual residence but cannot be placed back to their dwelling of usual residence. For the 2016 Census, data is imputed to SA1 level where the respondent has given insufficient address information. Visitors are excluded from household and family classifications, although counts of visitors (and visitor only households) are still available separately.
All household and family classifications in the Census are based on the relationships of people usually residing in the household. This applies when there is at least one person aged 15 years and over present. In these classifications, people temporarily absent 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.
Visitors to Australia
The question on the Census form, 'Where does the person usually live?' allows the identification of people who are usually resident in another country.
See also Place of enumeration, Place of Usual Residence.
Voluntary work for an organisation or group
See Unpaid Work
Weekly personal income
Provides an indicator of the gross income (including pensions and allowances) that persons aged 15 years and over usually receives each week.
Year of Arrival in Australia
Census collects the year of arrival in Australia for people born overseas who intend staying in Australia for at least one year. In 1996, data were collected in categories ranging from 'Before 1981' to '1996'. From 2001 onwards, data were collected by single year with valid responses in 2011 being in the range 1895 to 2011. For 2016, data are collected by single year with valid responses in the range 1900 to 2016.
Youth homelessness refers to those homeless youths aged between 12 and 24 years. This group is of interest as intervention (while in supported accommodation) with education and training programs leads to enduring housing outcomes. Some researchers define youth as aged 12–18 years. They may even dissect the age groups into 12–15,16–18 and 19–24 years due to the different characteristics of each, revolving around education and training, and labour force.
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