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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Tenure Type (TEND)

This variable describes if a dwelling is owned, being purchased or rented by a household, or being occupied under another arrangement. This variable is applicable to all occupied private dwellings enumerated in the 2016 Census.

How this variable is created

Tenure Type is mainly derived from responses to the Tenure Type and Landlord Type questions on the Census Household Form. Images of these questions are provided below. Most of the data is captured automatically from Tenure Type which asks if the dwelling is owned, being purchased or being rented, with a small proportion of the data derived from responses to the Landlord Type question. Images of the questions are provided below.

In a small proportion of cases (testing has indicated that this is around 1.3%), respondents provide an incorrect number of responses on the Household Paper form (for Tenure Type respondents are asked to only mark one response). In these cases responses were accepted in the order they appeared on the form and the extra responses were rejected.

Variable history

The question relating to Tenure Type was first asked for the 1911 Census. From 1976 to 1991, nature of occupancy data was derived from mortgage and rent questions. For all other Censuses a direct question on nature of occupancy was included.

Since 2006, the question on tenure type has differentiated between owners with and without a mortgage, rather than whether a dwelling was owned outright or being purchased, in order to remain consistent with the current ABS statistical standard for tenure type.

In the 2016 Census, the response category 'Being purchased under a rent/buy scheme' was changed to refer to 'Being purchased under a shared equity scheme', to better reflect current arrangements.

Non-response rate

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 majority of item non-response is attributable to the people who did not respond to the Census at all. 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.

The non-response rate for this variable was 7.7% (6.1% in 2011).

Data usage notes

Compared to 2011 data, large decreases in the 'Being purchased under a shared equity scheme' category for 2016 can be observed. It is unclear whether this indicates legitimate changes in the way housing has been financed or whether this was caused by respondents misinterpreting either the 2011 or 2016 wording of the question.

Further information

A definition for Tenure Type is available in the 2016 Census Dictionary with additional information available in the Glossary.

Household form question image

Questions 56 and 57 as they appeared on the 2016 Census Household Paper Form:

2016 Household Paper Form - Question 56. Is this dwelling:

2016 Household Paper Form - Question 57. If this dwelling is being rented, who is it rented from?

A text only version of the online Census Household form is available from the Downloads tab.