2901.0 - Census of Population and Housing: Census Dictionary, 2016  
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2016 Census Dictionary >> Glossary >> Scope and coverage


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.

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.


The Census also includes people on vessels in or between Australian ports and people on board long distance trains, buses or aircraft. People entering Australia before midnight on Census night are counted, while people leaving an Australian port for an overseas destination before midnight on Census night are not. Visitors to Australia are included regardless of how long they have been in the country or how long they plan to stay. However, for people who will be in Australia less than one year, only basic demographic data are available from the Census.

Detainees under the jurisdiction of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, in detention centres in Australia, people in police lock-ups or prisons, are in the scope of the Census. For the 2016 Census, details for these people will be sourced from administrative data, only basic demographic statistics such as age, sex and marital status may be available.

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. Since the 2006 Census, unoccupied residences in retirement villages (self-contained) have also been included.

See also Dwelling Type (DWTD), Type of non-Private Dwelling (NPDD), Special Purpose Codes.




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