2900.0 - Census of Population and Housing: Understanding the Census and Census Data, Australia , 2016  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 08/11/2017  First Issue
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Location of Spouse (SPLF)

This variable is used for couples or couple families to identify cases where the spouse is present or temporarily absent from a couple family household on Census night. This variable is applicable to Couple families in family households which accounts for 82.5% of all families. The proportion of couple families where a spouse was reported as being temporarily absent was 5.3%.

How this variable is created

Data used to produce Location of Spouse is captured from responses for those reported as being temporarily absent on Census night on the Census Household Form. When a person is temporarily absent only a small proportion of their characteristics are collected. These are sex, age, Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin, student status and the person's relationship to 'Person 1'/ 'Person 2'.

Variable history

This variable was first introduced in 1986. No changes were made in 2016.

Non-response rate

Non-response rate only applies to data items that directly reflect responses to individual Census form questions. Location of Spouse does not have a non-response rate as it is a derived value created during Census processing for applicable families. Non-response rate only applies to data items that directly reflect responses to individual Census form questions. For more information, refer to Understanding Census data quality.

Data usage notes

People may be missed from the persons temporarily absent section of the form as they are not present in the household when the form is being filled out. This can occur in both family and group households. Additionally due to form limitations a maximum of three people can be reported and coded as temporarily absent from the dwelling. If more than three people are absent from the household the additional persons are unable to be included on the form.

Location of Spouse should be used carefully when comparing to other family data from within the ABS and for external organisations or agencies. The definition of a family can differ between different statistical collections and may not match Census definitions.

Further information

Information on Location of Spouse is available in the 2016 Census Dictionary.

Household form question image

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

Image: 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.