Rent affordability indicator (RAID)
This variable allocates an in scope household to one of two categories:
- rent payments less than or equal to 30% of household income
- rent payments more than 30% of household income.
Occupied private dwellings being rented
|1||Households where rent repayments are less than or equal to 30% of household income|
|2||Households where rent repayments are more than 30% of household income|
|3||Unable to be determined|
Number of categories: 4
Not applicable (@) category comprises:
- Unoccupied private dwellings
- Visitor only households
- Non-private dwellings
- Migratory, off-shore and shipping SA1s
- Other non-classifiable dwellings
- Tenure type (TEND) - Owned outright, Occupied rent-free, Occupied under a life tenure scheme, Other tenure type, Not stated, Not applicable
Question(s) from the Census form
What is the total of all income the person usually receives?
Is this dwelling: (please open this section to view response categories)
How much does your household pay for this dwelling?
How this variable is created
The Rent affordability indicator is calculated by dividing rent payments (RNTD) by an imputed household income. Both variables are expressed as single dollar values. The calculation determines whether rent payments are:
- less than or equal to 30% of household income
- more than 30% of household income
The Census collects the income of each person in the household aged 15 years or over in ranges. To sum these personal income values to calculate a household income, a specific dollar amount is allocated to each person. A median dollar value for each range, derived using data from the Survey of Income and Housing, is used for this purpose. For more information about this survey see the Survey of Income and Housing, User Guide.
Rent payments are already collected in a single dollar amount.
Rent affordability indicator is coded to ‘Unable to be determined’ where:
History and changes
This is a new variable for 2021. QuickStats will use the Rent affordability indicator (RAID) variable, and therefore comparisons shouldn’t be made with previous Census data in QuickStats.
In previous censuses, a measure of rental affordability could only be obtained from QuickStats. This measure was different from RAID as it used all occupied private dwellings whether owned outright, owned with a mortgage or rented, as the denominator population.
RAID only applies to dwellings being rented, which is a more accurate representation of the population to measure rental affordability.
Data use considerations
As housing costs are usually a major component of total living costs they are often analysed in relation to income, and referred to as a housing affordability ratio. However, comparisons using these measures are subject to certain limitations. As described above, the Census collects personal income in ranges. For this purpose, a single median value for each income range is calculated. It should also be noted that individuals may tend to understate their incomes on the Census, compared with the amounts that would be reported in surveys designed specifically to measure incomes. As a result of these limitations, the use of Census imputed incomes in the calculation of each household’s housing costs to income ratio may significantly overstate the true proportion of households with rent payments greater than 30% of income.
Households are often reimbursed some of their housing costs, but these reimbursements may not be offset in housing costs reported in the Census but included instead in income. Employer subsidies and Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA) are examples where the housing costs to income ratio is significantly affected by the default treatment of these amounts in Census reporting. This is particularly important when comparing ratios for households in public housing with those who are in receipt of CRA.
Rent payments greater than 30% of income may not necessarily indicate that a household is in financial stress.
- Some households may choose to live in an area with high property values because it is close to their place of employment or they prefer a relatively high standard of housing compared with other consumption possibilities.
- Higher income households may be able to spend more of their income on housing without this affecting their ability to pay for other costs of living. Lower income households may have less choice and capacity in this regard. For this reason, housing affordability ratios, such as this, are usually limited to lower income households.
This variable does not have a non-response rate as it is created during Census processing by using responses from more than one question on the Census form.