2900.0 - Census of Population and Housing: Understanding the Census and Census Data, Australia , 2016  
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Count of Persons Temporarily Absent from Household (CPAD)

This variable counts the total number of people who were reported as temporarily absent from the household on Census night. Count of Persons Temporarily Absent for Household is applicable to family and group households.

How this variable is created

Count of Persons Temporarily Absent for Household is a dwelling variable that is derived from the Persons Temporarily Absent question on the Census Household Form. An image of this question is provided below.

Due to form limitations a maximum of three people can be reported and coded as temporarily absent. This count includes husbands/wives, de facto partners, unrelated flatmates or co-tenants and children (i.e. dependent children under 15 years, dependent students (15-24) and non-dependent children). This variable is applicable to 63.1% of all dwellings. Of these, 8.6% reported persons temporarily absent from the dwelling on Census night.

Variable history

This question was first asked in the 1986 census. No changes were made in 2016.

Non-response rate

Non-response rates only apply to data items that directly reflect responses to individual Census form questions. Count of Persons Temporarily Absent for Household does not have a non-response rate as it is a derived value created during Census processing for applicable households. For more information, refer to Understanding Census data quality.

Data usage notes

This data is subject to a family coding process so that only those persons who form a family nucleus (that is partners, children and grandchildren aged under 15 years), and unrelated persons living in group households are included. Family members who are not identified as members of the family nucleus are not included in Count of Persons Temporarily Absent from Household.

Count of Persons Temporarily Absent from Household, like all other 'persons absent' Census variables, should be used carefully. Previous studies on Census data have shown that people can be omitted from the persons temporarily absent section of the form simply because they are not there when the form is being filled out (for both family and group households), and also due to there being space for only three persons to be listed as temporarily absent when there may in fact be four or more people absent.

Further information

A definition of Count of Persons Temporarily Absent for Household is available in the 2016 Census Dictionary.

Household form question image

Question 53 as it appeared on the 2016 Census Household Paper Form:

2016 Household Paper Form - Question 53. For each person away, complete the following questions:
A text only version of the online Census Household form is available from the Downloads tab.