2901.0 - Census Dictionary, 2006 (Reissue)  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 13/07/2007  Reissue
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Contents >> Short Definitions and Classifications - 2006 >> Unpaid Domestic Work: Number of Hours (DOMP) - Characteristics 2006

Unpaid Domestic Work: Number of Hours

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Image of Question
Quality Statement


For each person aged 15 years and over, this variable records the number of hours spent performing unpaid domestic work. It includes work that the person did without pay, in their own home and in other places, for themselves, their family and other people in the household, in the week prior to Census Night. More Detailed Description

Image of Question

2006 Household Form - Question 48


Applicable to: Persons aged 15 years and over

1. Nil hours
2. Less than 5 hours
3. 5 to 14 hours
4. 15 to 29 hours
5. 30 hours or more
& Not stated
@ Not applicable
V Overseas visitor

Total number of categories: 8

More Detailed Description

Quality Statement - Unpaid Domestic Work (DOMP)

There are many aspects which can affect the quality of Census data; the following information should be considered when viewing data on Unpaid Domestic Work (DOMP).

This question was new for 2006: the data was captured automatically from check box responses on the form so the risk of processing error is minimal. Sample checks of the data are undertaken to ensure an acceptable level of quality.

The non-response rate was 10.1%. Part of this non-response is attributable to the 4.2% of persons (aged 15 years and over) in dwellings which were occupied on Census Night but did not return a completed form. In these cases persons are imputed into these dwellings together with some demographic characteristics, however the values for Unpaid Domestic Work (DOMP) remain "not stated". Of the remaining 5.9% (946,485 people aged 15 years and over) who did not answer the Unpaid Domestic Work question:
  • 49.8% were female;
  • 39% were married; 34% were never married; and 16% were widowed;
  • 34% were husbands or wives in a registered marriage; 18% were living alone; and 9% were natural or adopted dependent students;
  • 45% were aged 60 or over;
  • 39% did not state their income; a further 41% reported gross incomes of less than $400 per week;
  • 47% were not in the labour force (and a further 31% did not answer the labour force questions);
  • 12.5% were full-time students, and 1.6% were part-time students.

Unpaid Domestic Work was one of four new questions regarding unpaid work or care in the 2006 Census, located sequentially near the end of the questionnaire. The unpaid work questions varied in complexity with regard to reference periods, the amount of text to be read, and the number of response categories offered, but a response to each could be recorded by simply marking the relevant box. Results show, however, that the first two unpaid work questions (including Unpaid Domestic Work) recorded higher non-response rates than the two unpaid work questions following. This finding suggests that some respondents had more difficulty with the concepts or question design for DOMP, or felt that this question was irrelevant to them.

In a small proportion of cases (testing has indicated that this is less than 0.2%), respondents provided more than the required number of responses (for DOMP, respondents are asked to only mark one response). Where more than one response was marked a "Yes" response with the highest number of hours was accepted over any other responses, including any "No" response. Just under 0.07% of people applicable to DOMP supplied multiple 'Yes' responses, while just over 0.08% supplied contradictory 'No' plus 'Yes' responses.

Census data is particularly suitable for the analysis of demographic variables within linked geographic areas. However, at small area data levels, outliers (unusual results) may become more apparent to users. This becomes more probable as other data items are incorporated in the analysis, and users are reminded that almost all census data is as originally reported by the respondents. For some variable combinations, the use of interview-based, correlated survey results at a broader geographic level may therefore be more appropriate.

Additional sources of information regarding unpaid domestic work can be found in other ABS publications and associated collections, including:

  • How Australians Use Their Time, Australia, 2006 (cat. no. 4153.0) which measures unpaid work in the home and the community, including housework, home maintenance, household management, and household shopping;
  • Aspects of Social Capital, Australia, 2006 (cat. no. 4911.0);
  • Unpaid Work and the Australian Economy, 1997 (cat. no. 5240.0);
  • Australian Social Trends (cat. no. 4102.0, various years) containing a variety of articles pertaining to unpaid domestic work.

Selected Theme Pages on the ABS Website may also contain links to alternative data sources that may be of relevance to users.

The ABS aims to produce high quality data from the Census. To achieve this, extensive effort is put into Census form design, collection procedures, and processing procedures.
More details regarding these efforts can be found in:
All are available from the ABS Website.

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