Type of non-private dwelling (NPDD)

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


This variable classifies the Type of non-private dwelling in which people were counted on Census Night. Non-private dwellings (NPDs) are establishments which provide a communal and often short-term type of accommodation.

'Other and non-classifiable' includes all other types of NPDs not listed, including ski lodges and youth or backpacker hostels.


Non-private dwellings


01Hotel, motel, bed and breakfast
02Nurses’ quarters
03Staff quarters
04Boarding house, private hotel
05Boarding school
06Residential college, hall of residence
07Public hospital (not psychiatric)
08Private hospital (not psychiatric)
09Psychiatric hospital or institution
10Hostel for the disabled
11Nursing home
12Accommodation for the retired or aged (not self-contained)
13Hostel for homeless, night shelter, refuge
14Child care institution
15Corrective institution for children
16Other welfare institution
17Prison, corrective institution for adults
18Immigration detention centre
19Convent, monastery, etc
20Other and non-classifiable
&&Not stated
@@Not applicable

Number of categories:  22

Not applicable (@@) category comprises:

  • Occupied and unoccupied 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

The types of Non-private dwelling is sourced from the ABS Address Register. For information on how the Address Register is maintained, refer to ABS Address Register, Users' Guide.

It is reviewed by Census enumeration management staff prior to Census Night and verified by Census Field Officers after calls or visits to the establishments. Non-private dwellings can also be created or have their details modified throughout this time.

History and changes

Information on the types of Non-private dwellings that people are located in on Census Night has been collected in every Census since 1911.

Since the 2006 Census, additional response options were introduced to identify immigration detention centres, youth or backpacker hostels and ski lodges.

Since 2016, NPD type is sourced from the ABS Address Register and is updated as needed from information collected by ABS field officers during enumeration.

The output categories for this classification were unchanged for 2021.

Data use considerations

Hotels (01) and private hotels (04) are categorised differently within Type of non-private dwelling (NPDD). This is mainly because of differences in length of residency, service provision, and how the hotel or private hotel classifies itself.

‘Accommodation for the retired or aged (not self-contained)’ (12) is accommodation where meals are provided.

Self-contained retirement villages where the residents live independently are not classified as Non-private dwellings. These are Occupied private dwellings and can be identified by the variable Dwelling location (DLOD).

'Other welfare institutions' (16) have increased in 2021. Address lists are sourced from state and territory governments and non-government organisations to identify accommodation for the homeless. These lists were more comprehensive in the 2021 Census than in previous censuses.

The 2021 Census also requested tenure information from these list providers so that addresses could be more accurately classified as 'Hostels for the homeless' (13) or 'Other welfare institutions' (16). Short-term accommodation was coded as 'Hostels for the homeless' (13) while medium-term accommodation/transitional housing and long-term accommodation was coded as 'Other welfare institutions' (16). 

The coding is based on the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) definition of Supported accommodation type that also informs the Supported Accommodation flag that indicates homelessness.

Type of non-private dwelling (NPDD) does not have a non-response rate as it is sourced from the ABS Address Register

Related variables and glossary terms

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