Dwelling location (DLOD)

Latest release
Census of Population and Housing: Census dictionary
Reference period


This variable describes the location of dwellings. It classifies them into large communal locations, such as caravan parks and marinas. The majority of Private dwellings are in the ‘other’ category because they are not located within these types of communal locations.

The Dwelling structure for Private dwellings at these locations can be identified by using the variable Dwelling structure (STRD).

The term ‘residential park’ refers to caravan parks with predominantly long-term residents.


Private dwellings


1Caravan/residential park or camping ground
3Manufactured home estate
4Retirement village (self-contained)
@Not applicable

Number of categories:  6

Not applicable (@) category comprises:

  • Non-private dwellings
  • Migratory, off-shore and shipping SA1s

Question(s) from the Census form

This variable is not collected from a question on the Census form.

How this variable is created

Information on Dwelling location is mainly sourced from the Address Register.

Dwelling location data was recorded by ABS Address Canvassing Officers in the lead up to the 2016 Census as a once-off part of establishing the Address Register as a mail-out frame for designated areas. Dwelling location was also verified or collected by ABS Field Officers during the 2016 and 2021 Census collection periods.

If the Dwelling location can not be determined it is set to 'Other'. Most Private dwellings fall into the 'Other' category for this data item.

History and changes

Collection methods 

This variable was introduced for the 1996 Census to cater for changes in the scope of Private dwellings.

For the 2006 and 2011 censuses, information regarding this variable was collected by ABS Field officers rather than being included on the Census form.

Dwelling location has been sourced from the ABS Address Register since 2016. It is verified during field and office processes.


From 2006, the description for category 1 changed from 'Caravan park' to 'Caravan/residential park or camping ground', and the description for category 4 changed from 'Accommodation for the retired or aged (self-care)' to 'Retirement village (self-contained)'.

Data use considerations

As this variable is mainly determined by the ABS Address Register, the risk of misclassifying is low.

While the misclassification of Dwelling location (DLOD) is rare, on occasion identification and amendments were made to correct a small number of dwellings. In rare cases, an establishment may fall into more than one category of dwelling location, such as a retirement village that contains manufactured homes, or a residential park that is made up of a mixture of caravans and manufactured homes. However, a dwelling can only be allocated to a single category and in these cases a determination was made during Census processing of the most appropriate category for the dwellings in question. 

Dwelling location (DLOD) does not have a non-response rate as it is sourced from the Address Register, or during Census enumeration or Processing.

Related variables and glossary terms

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