Unpaid domestic work: number of hours (DOMP)

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


This variable records the number of hours people spent in the previous week doing domestic work without pay. Domestic work is work for the individual or household, whether in the household or in other places. Unpaid domestic work can include:

  • meal preparation, service and clean-up
  • washing, ironing and managing clothes
  • any other housework
  • gardening, mowing and yard work
  • home maintenance
  • car/bike maintenance
  • household shopping and managing household financial affairs
  • maintaining home internet connections and computer systems.

Any domestic work done as part of paid employment is excluded. Data from this variable will help provide an understanding of the way individuals and families balance paid work with other important aspects of their lives. For example, family and community commitments.


Persons aged 15 years and over


1Nil hours
2Less than 5 hours
35 to 14 hours
415 to 29 hours
530 hours or more
&Not stated
@Not applicable
VOverseas visitor

Number of categories: 8

Not applicable (@) category comprises:

  • Persons aged under 15 years

See Understanding supplementary codes for more information.

Question(s) from the Census form

In the last week did the person spend time doing unpaid domestic work for their household?

How this variable is created

The variable is recorded directly from the unpaid domestic work question on the Census form. The responses to this question are captured automatically from mark box responses so the risk of errors during data processing are minimal. Where more than one response is marked, the 'Yes' response with the highest number of hours is accepted. This is accepted over any other responses, including any 'No' response.

History and changes

The question on unpaid domestic work was first asked in 2006.

No changes have been made for 2021.

Data use considerations

There are no data use considerations for this variable.

The non-response rate for Unpaid domestic work: number of hours (DOMP) was 6.6% in 2021. This is a decrease from 8.8% in 2016.

Related variables and glossary terms

  • Relationship in household (RLHP)
  • Voluntary work for an organisation or group (VOLWP)
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