Usual address five years ago indicator (UAI5P)

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


This variable indicates whether a person:

  • lived in the same address five years ago as their current usual residence
  • lived elsewhere in Australia five years ago
  • usually lived in another country five years ago

This variable when used with Usual address Census Night indicator (UAICP), Usual address one year ago indicator (UAI1P), and also with Place of usual residence (PURP) data, shows migration patterns.


All persons aged five years and over


1Same as in 2021
2Elsewhere in Australia
3Overseas in 2016
&Not stated
@Not applicable
VOverseas visitor 2021

Number of categories: 6

Not applicable (@) category comprises:

  • Persons aged under 5 years

See Understanding supplementary codes for more information.

Question(s) from the Census form

Where did the person usually live five years ago (at 10 August 2016)?

How this variable is created

This variable is derived from the response category answer to the question on the 2021 Census forms which asks, 'Where did the person usually live five years ago (at 10 August 2016)?'. 

The responses to this question are captured automatically from mark box responses on the form. Where the indicator mark boxes have been left blank by a respondent but they have reported an address five years ago, UAI5P is derived based on the address reported. If the respondent does not report either the indicator or the address, they will be set to 'Not stated'. However, where a person who is aged under 20 years (i.e. they were aged under 15 years five years ago) does not respond to the usual address five years ago question, but their parent(s) did respond, their UAI5P is set to the same value as their parent.

History and changes

The question relating to usual address five years ago was first asked in the 1971 Census and has been asked at every Census since then.

In Censuses prior to 2011, there was a separate category for people who had the same address five years ago as for their address one year ago. This allowed users to differentiate between those people who lived at a different address five years ago and one year ago, compared with those who lived at the same address five years ago and one year ago. While the data is collected and processed in the same way, this information is no longer publicly available as it is merged with 'elsewhere in Australia' prior to release.

In 2021, the categories with years have been updated to 2021, the previous year of 2020 and 2016 for five years ago. 

Data use considerations

There are no data use considerations for this variable.

The non-response rate for Usual address five years ago indicator (UAI5P) was 6.0% in 2021. This is a decrease from 7.3% in 2016.

Related variables and glossary terms

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