In general terms, a dwelling is a structure which is intended to have people live in it, and which is habitable on Census Night. Some examples of dwellings are houses, motels, flats, caravans, prisons, tents, humpies and houseboats.
Private dwellings are enumerated using household forms, which obtain family and relationship data. Non-private dwellings (hotels, hospitals etc.) are enumerated on personal forms.
All occupied dwellings are counted in the Census. Unoccupied private dwellings are also counted with the exception of unoccupied dwellings in caravan parks, marinas and manufactured home estates. Unoccupied residences of owners, managers or caretakers of such establishments are counted. And for the 2006 Census, unoccupied units in retirement villages (self-contained) will also be counted.
The 2001 Census was the first to count unoccupied private dwellings in discrete Indigenous communities. This will occur again in 2006.
See also Caravans, houseboats, etc., Dwelling Location (DLOD), Dwelling Structure (STRD), Dwelling Type (DWTD), Household, Manufactured home estates, Type of Non-Private Dwelling (NPDD).