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 Census has three questions on usual residence that ask where the person usually lives on Census Night, and where the person usually lived one year ago and five years ago.
Since the 2001 Census, an additional note was included: 'For persons who usually live in another country and who are visiting Australia for less than one year, mark 'Other country''.
The information acquired from the answers to the usual residence questions is recorded in the usual residence indicator variables:
Use of usual residence indicators, in conjunction with the other variables relating to usual residence, make it possible to identify the pattern of net movement of people between three dates, i.e. Census Night, one year ago and five years ago.
For the 2011 Census the following usual residence variables are available:
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.
Usual Residence data are used by the ABS in calculations of the Estimated Resident Population.