The Census asks a number of questions for usual residents who were temporarily absent on Census night, these are known as persons temporarily absent (PTA) questions. The PTA questions below are used to derive this variable.
Count of persons temporarily absent from family (CPAF)
This variable counts the total number of people who were temporarily absent from a family on Census night. The count of persons temporarily absent includes husbands/wives/partners, de facto partners, and children (dependent children aged under 15 years, dependent students (15-24 years) and non-dependent children). A maximum of three people can be coded as temporarily absent in the dwelling.
Families in family households
No persons temporarily absent from family
One person temporarily absent from family
Two persons temporarily absent from family
Three persons temporarily absent from family
Number of categories: 5
Not applicable (@) category comprises:
- Non-family/Non-classifiable households
- Unoccupied private dwellings
- Non-private dwellings
- Migratory, off-shore and shipping SA1s
Question(s) from the Census form
For each person away, complete the following questions:
How this variable is created
This variable is derived from the persons temporarily absent (PTA) questions on the Census form. Persons included in the main family structure are processed to create this variable. They include:
- grandchild aged under 15.
Other family members not included in the main family structure are removed.
History and changes
This question was first introduced in 1996.
No changes have been made for 2021.
Data use considerations
Usual residents may not be included in the household’s Census form because they were away from the dwelling on Census night. In this case they should be included in the Persons temporarily absent section of the form. This can occur in both family and group households. Due to form limitations, a maximum of three people can be reported and coded as temporarily absent from the dwelling. If more than three people are absent from the household, the additional people are unable to be included on the form.
Care should be taken when comparing this variable to other family data from within the ABS or external organisations or agencies. The definition of a family can differ between different statistical collections and may not match Census definitions.