Dwelling type indicator for persons (DWIP)

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


This variable indicates whether a person was enumerated in a private or a non-private dwelling. It is included in the microdata products as a way of allowing users to more easily distinguish between those people enumerated in private dwellings and those enumerated in non-private dwellings without having to link to the household file.

A dwelling is a structure which is intended to have people live in it, that is it was established for short-stay or long-stay accommodation.


All persons enumerated within an occupied private or non-private dwelling.

As this is a person indicator, unoccupied private dwellings are out of scope.


1Enumerated in an occupied private dwelling
2Enumerated in a non-private dwelling
3Enumerated in other dwellings

Number of categories: 3

Category definitions

Question(s) from the Census form

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

How this variable is created

This variable is derived from the Dwelling Type (DWTD) variable.

The correspondence between the two variable's categories is highlighted below.

1 Occupied private dwellings1 Enumerated in an occupied private dwelling
2 Unoccupied private dwellingsOut of scope
3 Non-private dwellings2 Enumerated in a non-private dwelling
4 Migratory3 Enumerated in other dwellings
5 Off-shore3 Enumerated in other dwellings
6 Shipping3 Enumerated in other dwellings


History and changes

This indicator has been included in every Census basic and detailed microdata product since 2006. There have been no changes made to this variable.

Data use considerations

A data error has been discovered with this variable, there is a small number of people with incorrectly coded migratory, off-shore, or shipping statuses.

The ABS does its best to have accurate Dwelling type information. However it can sometimes be difficult to determine Dwelling type for dwellings with mixed occupancy or where we were not able to make contact with the residents to confirm the type of dwelling.

Examples of mixed occupancy

 Private dwellingNon-private dwelling
Self-contained apartmentsLong-term private apartment accommodationShort-term hotel-style accommodation
Aged care and retirement villagesPrivate self-contained dwellingsCommunal accommodation with supported nursing care


Examples of misclassified dwelling types

Some non-private dwellings such as group homes for the disabled or convents and monasteries may not be easily identifiable as Non-private dwellings and may be treated as Private dwellings.

There may be misclassification between Unoccupied private dwellings and out-of-scope Private dwellings; non-residential premises and construction sites may have dwellings that are not habitable but are identified as Unoccupied private dwellings.

Related variables and glossary terms

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