The important difference between place of usual residence and place of enumeration explained
Australia's population is usually measured in one of two ways – place of enumeration or place of usual residence.
'Place of enumeration' is a count of every person in Australia based on where they were located on Census Night. This may or may not be the place at which they usually reside, for example in the case of Australians on holiday interstate, or overseas visitors.
'Place of usual residence' is a count of every person in Australia on Census Night, based on the area in which they usually live.
Both types of data are important – the 'usual residence' is obviously important for planning of services but the 'as enumerated' gives a snapshot view of Australia.
In most cases there won't be a great deal of difference between the place of enumeration and place of usual residence figures. However some locations, such as holiday resorts like the ski fields or the Gold Coast, will produce vastly different population counts depending on which measure is used.
In response to overwhelming user demand, the 2006 Census data has been released on the basis of place of usual residence. In previous censuses the ABS has used place of enumeration as the basis for releasing data. The ABS urges caution when comparing previous census data with the 2006 Census, and advises checking that both figures are using the same measure.
All 2006 Census data released on the ABS website on 27 June 2007 is by usual residence. The ABS expects to release place of enumeration data in August this year.
Note: 2001 Census data is available on the ABS website in both place of enumeration and usual residence measures.
These documents will be presented in a new window.