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Temporarily Absent People
Absent from Dwelling
Here are some examples of how information on temporarily absent people can impact on data.
Example 1: The location of spouse (SPLF) is temporarily absent.
Instead of Family Composition for this household being recorded as a ‘Lone parent family’, the information on the back of the form about the temporarily absent spouse allows the family to be coded as a ‘Couple family with children’. The Household Composition remains as ‘One family household’. The count of people temporarily absent from the family (CPAF) and the household (CPAD) is one.
Example 2: Unrelated and absent individuals
Instead of Household Composition for this household being recorded as a ‘Lone person household’, the information on the back of the form allows the household to be coded as a ‘Group household’. The count of people temporarily absent from the household (CPAD) is two. Counts of persons absent from the family are not applicable for this household because it is not a family household.
Example 3: Multiple family household, with family members temporarily absent
Using the relevant variables, and the information available for the three temporarily absent persons, we can determine the following information about the families in this dwelling. The numbers in the diagram are Family Numbers (FNOF), as determined by information provided by respondents and coding rules.
HHCD Household Composition: Three Family Household
CPAD Count of Persons Temporarily Absent from Household: Three persons temporarily absent from household
Why are 'temporarily absent' variables necessary?
There are three main reasons for collecting data on persons who are temporarily absent from the household on Census night:
Place of Usual Residence
It is a common misconception that ‘Place of Usual Residence’ means that people who are visitors on Census night are placed back in their usual dwelling during processing. This is not true. ‘Place of Usual Residence’ only refers to the geographical area in which each individual person usually lives. They are not linked back to their individual household. Someone must be a usual resident of the household in which they were enumerated for family and household characteristics to be established. If everyone in the household were visitors they would be coded as a ‘Visitor only household’ regardless of any family relationships, and no family relationships would be recorded for them. Similarly, they would all be absent from their usual address on Census night, and their dwelling would be coded as an ‘Unoccupied private dwelling’. Please see Place of Enumeration vs Place of Usual Residence for further information.
The Census also relies on people to fill in information on temporarily absent people to establish the number and type of ‘usual residents’ in any one household.
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