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Usual residence data provide information on the usually resident population of an area, and on the internal migration patterns at the state and regional levels. The 2006 Census has three questions on usual residence that ask where the person usually lives on Census Night, and where the person usually lived one year ago and five years ago.
In 1996, 'usual residence' was defined in the Question 7 notes as:
for people who now have no usual address, write no usual address; and
for boarders at boarding school or college, give the address of the school or college.
For the 2001 and 2006 Censuses, an additional note was included, 'For persons who usually live in another country and who are visiting Australia for less than one year, mark Other country'.
The information acquired from the answers to the usual residence questions is recorded in the usual residence indicator variables:
Usual Address One Year Ago Indicator (UAI1P)
Usual Address Five Years Ago Indicator (UAI5P)
Use of usual residence indicators, in conjunction with the other variables relating to usual residence, make it possible to identify the pattern of net movement of people between three dates, i.e. Census Night, one year ago and five years ago.
For the 2001 Census, there were some changes to editing and processing procedures for the variables UAI1P and UAI5P. These changes addressed minor data quality issues identified from the 1996 Census, which affected less than one percent of the population. Further information is available from the 2001 Census fact sheet on Usual Residence.
For the 2001 Census, usual residence data are available at Collection District (CD) level. However, where the respondent provided insufficient address information, the SLA was imputed as in the past, but the CD was not imputed.
For the 2006 Census, where the respondent has provided insufficient address information, the CD will be imputed. This makes imputation at the SLA level redundant.
The following usual residence variables are available:
Place of Usual Residence One Year Ago (PUR1P)
Place of Usual Residence Five Years Ago (PUR5P)
A number of people were enumerated on board vessels in or between Australian ports (or on long-distance trains, buses or aircraft) on Census Night. If they give an address in Australia as their usual residence, they are coded to the CD containing that address. A small number indicated that they were usually resident at the address at which they were enumerated. However, Migratory CDs are invalid for place of usual residence and these responses were imputed to valid spatial CDs.
Family variables are only derived for people counted at their usual residence. Temporarily absent persons are used to classify types of relationships and families existing in a household, but they are not used in the derivation of any other Census characteristics or in other Census output. If all members of a family are absent from their usual residence, no family records are created for them. Family and household structures are based on persons usually resident. If all members of a family or household are temporarily absent, the family or household is not counted.
Usual Residence data are used by the ABS in calculations of the Estimated Resident Population.