Balance of state
That part of each Australian state or territory not defined as capital city. Balance of state estimates for Northern Territory are regarded as too unreliable to publish separately since they exclude collection districts defined as very remote, which account for a significant proportion of the population. All of the Australian Capital Territory is defined as capital city for this publication.
Canadian National Occupancy Standard (CNOS)
Provides a measure of housing utilisation. The CNOS assesses the bedroom requirements of a household by specifying that:
- there should be no more than two persons per bedroom
- children less than 5 years of age of different sexes may reasonably share a bedroom
- children less than 18 years of age and of the same sex may reasonably share a bedroom
- single household members aged 18 years and over should have a separate bedroom, as should parents or couples
- a lone person household may reasonably occupy a bed sitter.
The CNOS compares the number of bedrooms required with the actual number of bedrooms in the dwelling.
Refers to Australia's six state capital city statistical divisions and the Darwin statistical division as defined in the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC)(cat. no. 1216.0). For the Australian Capital Territory the estimates relate predominantly to urban areas.
A household which bought their dwelling in the three years prior to being interviewed, and either the reference person or partner had owned or been purchasing a home previously.
The Census Collection District (CD) is the smallest geographic area defined in the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) (cat. no. 1216.0).
Consumer Price Index (CPI)
A general measure of price inflation for the household sector in Australia. Specifically, it provides a measure of changes, over time, in the cost of a constant basket of goods and services acquired by the capital city households in Australia.
See One family household.
Couple family with dependent children
See One family household.
Groupings that result from ranking all households or people in the population in ascending order according to some characteristic, such as their household income, and then dividing the population into 10 equal groups, each comprising 10% of the estimated population.
All persons aged under 15 years; and people aged 15-24 years who are full-time students, have a parent in the household and do not have a partner or child of their own in the household.
Gross income less income tax and the Medicare levy i.e. remaining income after taxes are deducted, which is available to support consumption and/or saving. Income tax and the Medicare levy are imputed based on each person's income and other characteristics as reported in the survey. Disposable income is sometimes referred to as net income.
Defined as a suite of rooms contained within a building which are self-contained and intended for long-term residential use. To be self-contained the suite of rooms must possess cooking and bathing facilities as building fixtures. See also Dwelling structure.
The dwelling structure type is determined by the structure of the building that contains the dwelling. Households belong to one of four dwelling categories:
- separate house
- semi-detached, row or terrace house or townhouse
- flat, unit, or apartment and
- other dwelling, including caravan or cabin in a caravan park, houseboat in a marina, caravan not in a caravan park, houseboat not in a marina and house or flat attached to a shop.
Persons aged 15 years and over who, during the week before the interview:
- worked one hour or more for pay, profit, commission or payment in kind in a job or business, or on a farm (includes employees, employers and own account workers)
- worked one hour or more, without pay, in a family business or on a family farm
- had a job, business or farm but was not at work because of holidays, sickness or other reason.
An employed person who, for most of his/her working hours:
- works for a public or private employer and receives remuneration in wages or salary, or is paid a retainer fee by his/her employer and works on a commission basis, or works for an employer for tips, piece-rates or payment in kind, or
- operates his or her own incorporated enterprise with or without hiring employees.
A person who operates his or her own unincorporated economic enterprise or engages independently in a profession or trade, and hires one or more employees.
Equity in the dwelling
A household's equity in the dwelling is the difference between the value of the dwelling and the total amount outstanding on mortgages taken out on the dwelling for any purpose, or unsecured loans taken out for housing purposes. From 2003-04 excludes amounts of loans for business and investment purposes secured against the dwelling.
Equivalised disposable household income
Disposable household income adjusted using an equivalence scale. For a lone person household it is equal to disposable household income. For a household comprising more than one person, it is an indicator of the disposable household income that would need to be received by a lone person household to enjoy the same level of economic wellbeing as the household in question. For further information see Appendix 3 in Household Income and Income Distribution, Australia, 2005-06 (cat. no. 6523.0).
Two or more people, one of whom is at least 15 years of age, who are related by blood, marriage (registered or de facto), adoption, step or fostering, and who usually live in the same household. A separate family is formed for each married couple, or for each set of parent-child relationships where only one parent is present.
Family composition of household
Classifies households into three broad groupings based on the number of families present (one family, multiple family and non-family). One family households are further disaggregated according to the type of family (such as couple family or one parent family) and according to whether or not dependent children are present. Non-family households are disaggregated into lone person households and group households.
First home buyer
A household which bought their dwelling in the three years prior to being interviewed, and neither the reference person nor their co-resident partner had owned or been purchasing a home previously.
Flat, unit or apartment
Includes all self-contained dwellings in blocks of flats, units or apartments. These dwellings do not have their own private grounds and usually share a common entrance foyer or stairwell. This category includes houses converted into flats and flats attached to houses such as granny flats. A house with a granny flat attached is regarded as a separate house.
A person 15 years or over who is classified as a full-time student by the institution they attend, or considers himself/herself to be a full-time student. Full-time study does not preclude employment.
Government pensions and allowances
Income support payments from government to persons under social security and related government programs. Included are pensions and allowances received by aged, disabled, unemployed and sick persons, families and children, veterans or their survivors, and study allowances for students. All overseas pensions and benefits are included here, although some may not be paid by overseas governments. The one-off payment to seniors paid in 2000-01, the one-off payment to families in 2003-04 and the one-off payments to carers paid in 2003-04, 2004-05 and 2005-06 are included. Family tax benefit is also regarded as income. However, prior to 2005-06, family tax benefit paid through the tax system or as a lump sum by Centrelink was only included in disposable income, and not gross income.
Regular cash receipts (including salary sacrificed income) before income tax or the Medicare levy are deducted.
See Non-family household.
A person living alone or a group of related or unrelated people who usually live in the same private dwelling.
Housing costs for the purpose of this publication comprise:
Housing costs as a proportion of income
- rent payments
- rates payments (general and water)
- mortgage or unsecured loan payments, if the initial purpose was primarily to buy, add to or alter the dwelling.
The total weekly housing costs of a group (e.g. one parent households) are divided by the total weekly income of that group, expressed as a percentage. Households with nil or negative total income are not included in this calculation.
Provides a measure of the bedroom requirements of a household according to household size and composition. See also Canadian National Occupancy Standard.
Regular and recurring cash receipts including monies received from:
- wages and salaries (whether from an employer or own incorporated enterprise), including income provided as part of a salary sacrifice arrangement
- profit/loss from own unincorporated business (including partnerships)
- investment income (interest, rent, dividends, royalties)
- government pensions and allowances
- private cash transfers (e.g. superannuation, regular workers' compensation, income from annuities, child support, and other transfers from other households).
Gross income is the sum of the income from all these sources before income tax or the Medicare levy are deducted. Note that child support and other transfers from other households are not deducted from the incomes of the households making the transfers. Other measures of income are disposable income and equivalised disposable income.
See also Gross income, Disposable income and Equivalised disposable household income.
An incorporated business is a company that has a registered business name with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) and a legal status which is separate to that of the individual owners of the business.
Labour force status
Classifies all people aged 15 years and over according to whether they were employed, unemployed or not in the labour force.
For renters, the type of entity to whom rent is paid or with whom the tenure contract or arrangement is made. Renters belong to one of the following categories:
Lone person household
- state/territory housing authority - where the household pays rent to a state or territory housing authority or trust
- private landlords - where the household pays rent to a real estate agent, a parent or other relative not in the same household, or another person not in the same household
- other - where the household pays rent to the owner/manager of a caravan park, an employer (including a government authority), a housing cooperative, a community or church group, or any other body not included elsewhere.
See Non-family household.
Lower income households
For the purpose of this publication, lower income households are defined as those containing the 30% of people with equivalised disposable household income between the 10th and 40th percentiles.
Mean housing costs
The total weekly housing costs paid by a group of households (e.g. couple only households) divided by the number of households in that group.
Median housing costs
That level of weekly housing costs that divides a group of households into two equal parts, one half having housing costs above the median and the other half having housing costs below the median.
Median ratio of housing costs to income
The ratio of weekly housing costs to gross weekly income is calculated for each household. The median is the level of that ratio that divides a group of households into two equal parts, one half having the ratio above the median and the other half having the ratio below the median. Households with nil or negative total income are not included in this calculation.
Medicare is Australia’s universal health care system. The Medicare levy is a specific tax, based on individual income, intended to assist in the funding of this system.
A mortgage is a loan taken out using the usual residence as security. An owner with a mortgage must still owe money from such a loan.
Multiple family household
A household containing two or more families. Unrelated individuals may also be present.
Income may be negative when a loss accrues to a household. Losses can accrue to owners of unincorporated enterprises or rental properties. Losses occur when operating expenses and depreciation are greater than gross receipts.
All people aged 15 years and over who:
- do not have a spouse or offspring of their own in the household
- have a parent in the household, and
- are not full-time students aged 15-24 years.
A household that consists of unrelated people only. Non-family households are classified to one of the following categories:
Not in the labour force
- Group household - a household consisting of two or more unrelated persons where all persons are aged 15 years and over. There are no reported couple relationships, parent-child relationships or other blood relationships in these households
- Lone person household - a household consisting of a person living alone.
Persons not in the categories employed or unemployed as defined.
One family household
One family households are classified to one of the following categories:
One parent family with dependent children
- Couple only - two persons in a registered or de facto marriage, who usually live in the same household
- Couple family with dependent children - a household consisting of a couple with at least one dependent child. The household may also include non-dependent children, other relatives and unrelated individuals
- One parent family with dependent children - a household comprising a lone parent with at least one dependent child. The household may also include non-dependent children, other relatives and unrelated individuals
- Other one family households - a household comprising:
- one couple with their non-dependent children only
- one couple, with or without non-dependent children, plus other relatives
- one couple, with or without non-dependent children or other relatives, plus unrelated individuals
- a lone parent with his/her non-dependent children, with or without other relatives and unrelated individuals
- two or more related individuals where the relationship is not a couple relationship or a parent-child relationship (e.g. two brothers).
See One family household.
Includes caravans, houseboats, or houses or flats attached to a shop or other commercial premise.
Income other than wages and salaries, own business or partnership income and government pensions and allowances. This includes income received as a result of ownership of financial assets (interest, dividends), and of non-financial assets (rent, royalties), and other regular receipts from sources such as superannuation, child support, workers' compensation and scholarships. Income from rent is net of operating expenses and depreciation and is negative if these are greater than gross receipts.
Other landlord type
Where the household pays rent to the owner/manager of a caravan park, an employer (including a government authority), a housing cooperative, a community or church group, or any other body not included elsewhere.
Other one family household
See One family household.
Other tenure type
A household which is not an owner (with or without a mortgage), or a renter. Includes rent free, life tenure, rent/buy and shared equity schemes.
Refer to Owner (of dwelling).
Own account worker
A person who operates his or her own unincorporated business or engages independently in a profession or trade and hires no employees.
Own unincorporated business income
The profit/loss that accrues to persons as owners of, or partners in, unincorporated businesses. Profit/loss consists of the value of gross output of the business less operating expenses (including depreciation). Losses occur when operating expenses are greater than gross receipts and are treated as negative income.
Owner (of dwelling)
A household in which at least one member owns the dwelling in which the household members usually reside. Owners are divided into two classifications - owners without a mortgage and owners with a mortgage. If there is any outstanding mortgage or loan secured against the dwelling the household is an owner with a mortgage. If there is no mortgage or loan secured against the dwelling the household is an owner without a mortgage.
Principal source of income
That source from which the most positive income is received. If total income is nil or negative the principal source is undefined. As there are several possible sources, the principal source may account for less than 50% of total income.
Regular, recurring receipts from private organisations, including superannuation, regular workers' compensation, income from annuities, interest, dividends, royalties, income from rental properties, private scholarship and child support.
A household paying rent to a landlord who is a real estate agent, a parent or other relative not in the same household, or another person not in the same household.
All residential and non-residential properties owned by persons in the household, excluding properties owned by the respondent's business.
A household paying rent to a state or territory housing authority or trust.
Groupings that result from ranking all households or people in the population in ascending order according to some characteristic, such as their household income, and then dividing the population into five equal groups, each comprising 20% of the estimated population. In this publication the quintiles are formed by ranking people by their equivalised disposable household income.
Recent home buyer
A household which bought their dwelling in the three years prior to being interviewed.
The reference person for each household is chosen by applying, to all household members aged 15 years and over, the selection criteria below, in the order listed, until a single appropriate reference person is identified:
- one of the partners in a registered or de facto marriage, with dependent children
- one of the partners in a registered or de facto marriage, without dependent children
- a lone parent with dependent children
- the person with the highest income
- the eldest person.
For example, in a household containing a lone parent with a non-dependent child, the one with the higher income will become the reference person. However, if both individuals have the same income, the elder will become the reference person.
Relative standard error (RSE)
The standard error expressed as a percentage of the estimate for which it was calculated. It is a measure which is independent of both the size of the sample and the unit of measurement, and as a result can be used to compare the reliability of different estimates. The smaller an estimate's RSE, the more likely it is that the estimate is a good proxy for that which would have been obtained if the whole population had been surveyed. For further information see Appendix 2.
A household which pays rent to reside in the dwelling. See further classification by Landlord type.
An arrangement under which an employee agrees contractually to forgo part of their remuneration, which the employee would otherwise receive as wages and salaries, in return for the employer or someone associated with the employer providing benefits of a similar value.
The private dwelling selected in the sample for the survey. See the Explanatory Notes for details of types of dwellings and how they are selected for this survey.
Semi-detached, row or terrace house or townhouse
A dwelling with its own private grounds and no dwelling above or below. A key feature of this dwelling is that it is either attached in some structural way to one or more dwellings or is separated from neighbouring dwellings by less than one-half metre. Examples include semi-detached, row or terrace houses, townhouses or villa units. Multistorey townhouses or units are separately identified from those which are single storey.
A dwelling which is self-contained and separated from other houses (or other buildings or structures) by a space to allow access on all sides (at least one-half metre). This category also includes houses that have an attached flat (e.g. a granny flat). The attached flat will be included in the flat, unit or apartment category.
A measure of the likely difference between estimates obtained in a sample survey and estimates which would have been obtained if the whole population had been surveyed. The magnitude of the standard error associated with any survey is a function of sample design, sample size and population variability. For further information see Appendix 2.
The largest spatial unit within each state/territory in the main structure of the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC)(cat. no. 1216.0).
The nature of a household's legal right to occupy the dwelling in which the household members usually reside. Tenure is determined according to whether the household owns the dwelling outright, owns the dwelling but has a mortgage or loan secured against it, is paying rent to live in the dwelling, or has some other arrangement to occupy the dwelling.
Persons aged 15 years and over who were not employed during the week before the interview, had actively looked for full-time or part-time work at any time in the four weeks before the interview and:
- were available for work in the week before the interview, or
- were waiting to start a new job within four weeks from the interview and would have started in the week before the interview if the job had been available then.
A business in which the owner(s) and the business are the same legal entity, so that, for example, the owner(s) are personally liable for any business debts that are incurred.
Value of dwelling
The estimated value of the dwelling and its land, as estimated and reported by the respondent. The data are only collected for owners.
Wages and salaries
The gross cash income received as a return to labour from an employer or from a person's own incorporated business. Salary sacrificed income is regarded as cash or 'near cash' income and is included in the scope of wages and salaries.