2900.0 - Census of Population and Housing: Understanding the Census and Census Data, Australia , 2016  
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Place of Usual Residence Five Years Ago (PUR5P)

This variable records the geographic area in which a person usually lived five years ago (i.e. at August 9, 2011). This variable is applicable for all usual residents of Australia aged 5 years and over.

How this variable is created

The table below describes how the Place of Usual Residence Five Years Ago is created and the proportion this represents in 2016, depending on the the response to the question on the form of where the person usually lived five years ago. An image of this question is provided below.

Place of Usual Residence Five Years Ago is coded to Statistical Area 2 (SA2) level based on the response to the question of where the person lived five years ago. An image of this question is provided below. If Place of Usual Residence Five Years Ago cannot be coded to the SA2 level, it is assigned to a 'capital city undefined' category, or a 'state undefined' category. The proportion of records coded to these categories was 0.4% in 2016 compared with 0.7% in 2011.

For the 52.4% of persons whose place of usual residence five year ago was the same as their place of usual residence on Census night, their Place of Usual Residence Five Years Ago is automatically derived from Place of Usual Residence. A further 6.3% of persons usually lived overseas five years ago, and their Place of Usual Residence Five Years Ago is therefore coded as such. For the 33.9% of persons who lived elsewhere in Australia five years ago, the address details provided on the form were coded using automatic or clerical processes.

Variable history

This question relating to Place of Usual Residence Five Years Ago was first asked in the 1971 Census and has been asked at every census since then. Geographic classifications have been changed for the 2016 Census so that they match the updated Australian Statistical Geography Standard. The date listed for five years ago has also been updated.

Place of Usual Residence Five Years Ago is a hierarchical classification, ranging from the broadest geographical level (Australia) at the top of the hierarchy, to the finest level (SA2). The categories in this variable have changed to reflect the updated Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) used for the 2016 Census. Provision is also made for persons who indicated that they had no usual place of residence one year ago.

Non-response rate

The majority of item non-response is attributable to the people who did not respond to the Census at all. Refer to item non-response tables for more information. The second and smaller contributor to item non-response is when people return a Census form but may not answer a particular question(s). For more information, refer to Understanding Census data quality.

Item non-response rates are a measure of how many people did not respond to a particular question as a proportion of the total number of people the question was applicable to. In this instance the response is left as not stated.

The non-response rate for this variable was 8.0% in 2016 (6.5% in 2011).

Further information

A definition of Place of Usual Residence Five Years Ago is available from the 2016 Census Dictionary.
For related information on Place of Usual Residence Five Years Ago, see data quality statements for Place of Usual Residence, Place of Usual Residence One Year Ago and Usual Address Indicator Five Years Ago Indicator.

Household form question image

Question 10 as it appeared on the 2016 Census Household Paper Form:

Image: 2016 Household Paper Form - Question 10. Where did the person usually live five years ago (at 9 August 2011)?
A text only version of the online Census Household form is available from the Downloads tab.