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Place of usual residence (PURP)

Census of Population and Housing: Census dictionary
Reference period
2021

Definition

This variable records the geographic area in which a person usually lives.  It may or may not be the place where the person was counted on Census night. The base area for Place of usual residence (PURP) is a mesh block (MB). These can be aggregated to form higher Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) areas.

For details of these areas refer to the ASGS.

Scope

All persons

Categories

CodeCategory

 

In addition to the ASGS geographic areas, the following categories are also included:

 

Migratory, off-shore and shipping

 

No usual address

VVVV

Overseas visitor

Number of categories:  Total number of categories will depend on the geographic level chosen

Special purpose code definitions
Special purpose codesDefinition

Migratory

Used to code people who are in transit on long distance trains, buses, aircraft and long-haul road transport vehicles on Census night.

Off-shore

Used to code people who are on oil rigs and drilling platforms etc. on Census night.  Also used for expeditioners in the Australian Antarctic Territory.

Shipping

Used to code people who are on board vessels in Australian waters, in or between Australian ports on Census night.

No usual address

Used to code people who have no fixed address, such as travellers who move across Australia.

Question(s) from the Census form

What is the address of this dwelling?

    What is the address of this dwelling?
    What is the address of this dwelling?

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    Apartment/Flat/Unit number (if any)
    Street number
    Street name (examples: Graham Avenue, George Street)
    Suburb/Locality
    State/Territory
    Postcode
    Property/Building name (if any)

      More Information

      Additional information relating to the question on: What is the address of this dwelling?

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      What is the address of this dwelling?

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      For Norfolk Island and other external territories, such as Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Jervis Bay, please select 'Other external territory' in the State/Territory box.

      Where does the person usually live?

        Where does the person usually live?
        Where does Person 1 usually live?

        For people who usually live in another country and who are visiting Australia for less than one year, select 'Other country'.

        For other people, 'usually live' means the address at which the person has lived, or intends to live, for a total of six months or more in 2021.

        For people who have no fixed or return address (for example, due to family conflict or eviction), select 'Elsewhere in Australia' and write 'None' in the 'Suburb/Locality' box.

        For boarders at boarding school, provide the address of the boarding school or college.

        More information

        1 Smith Street Belconnen ACT 2617

        Elsewhere in Australia (please specify address)

        Other country

          More information

          Additional information relating to the question on: Where does the person usually live?

          More information

          Where does Person 1 usually live?

          For people who usually live in another country and who are visiting Australia for less than one year, select 'Other country'.

          For other people, 'usually live' means the address at which the person has lived, or intends to live, for a total of six months or more in 2021.

          For people who have no fixed or return address (for example, due to family conflict or eviction), select 'Elsewhere in Australia' and write 'None' in the 'Suburb/Locality' box.

          For boarders at boarding school, provide the address of the boarding school or college.

          More information

          If the person is providing an address for 'Elsewhere in Australia' and they usually live in Norfolk Island or other external territories, such as Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Jervis Bay, please select 'Other external territory' in the State/Territory box.

          How this variable is created

          For people who are at home on Census night, PURP is automatically derived from their place of enumeration.  

          People who usually lived overseas are coded as ‘Overseas visitors’.

          People who have 'no usual address' are instructed on the Census form to write 'None' in the suburb/locality field for the usual address question. Each state/territory has one Statistical area 1 (SA1) and Statistical area 2 (SA2) imputed specifically for these responses.

          Shipping SA1s and Offshore SA1s are also valid for PURP.

          For people who live elsewhere in Australia, address details that are provided on the form are coded to mesh block (MB) where possible using automatic or clerical processes. MBs are the smallest geographical unit in the ABS and form the basis for the larger regions of the ASGS.

          Where incomplete address of usual residence is given, PURP is imputed at different geography levels using the ASGS.  The variable Imputation flag for place of usual residence (IFPURP) indicates if a person's PURP was imputed in the Census, and to what level.

          Migratory SA1s are invalid for place of usual residence and such responses are imputed to a valid spatial SA1.

          History and changes

          A question relating to place of usual residence was first asked in the 1971 Census and has been asked at every Census since then. Prior to the 1961 Census, questions did not differentiate between place of enumeration and place of usual residence.

          Since the 2001 Census, an additional note was included: 'For persons who usually live in another country and who are visiting Australia for less than one year, mark 'Other country'.

          The categories in this variable have changed to reflect the updated ASGS used for the 2021 Census. Provision is also made for persons who indicate that they have no usual place of residence.

          Prior to 2016, usual address information for persons staying in a non-private dwelling (hotel, hospitals) on Census night was recorded on a Summary form by a Census Field Officer. In 2016, under the new enumeration method, usual address information was no longer collected during the non-private dwelling enumeration process. If a form was not returned by a respondent in a non-private dwelling, demographic information including their usual address was imputed based on people in similar non-private dwellings. 

          For 2021, instructional text was added to aid people without a fixed or return address by including examples ‘due to family conflict’ or ‘eviction’.

          Data use considerations

          The technical definition of usual residence refers to the address at which a person lives or intends to live for six months or more. However, the data is self-reported and sometimes, the address that is reported may be what respondents consider their 'usual address' rather than the technical definition. People visiting Australia from another country for less than one year are considered overseas visitors.

          Related variables and glossary terms