Housing: Census

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Information on housing type and housing costs

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Key statistics

  • There were 10,852,208 private dwellings counted in the 2021 Census.
  • 70 per cent were separate houses, 13 per cent were townhouses and 16 per cent were apartments.
  • There were 1,043,776 unoccupied dwellings on Census Night.

Housing tenure, 2021 Census

Image of three different types of dwellings and information about tenure. 1: 31% owned outright. 2: 35% owned with a mortgage. 3: 30.6% rented.
This image shows three different types of dwellings and information about tenure in Australia. Of all the occupied private dwellings, 31 per cent are owned outright, 35 per cent are owned with a mortgage and 30.6 per cent are rented.

Refers to occupied private dwellings and excludes visitor only and other non-classifiable households. Owned with a mortgage includes dwellings being purchased under a shared equity scheme. Rented excludes dwellings being occupied rent-free. Other tenure type and tenure type not stated represent remaining 3.4 per cent.

Source: Tenure type (TEND)

Census data stories and concepts

How Census data is used

Learn how Census data helps community groups, businesses and governments make important decisions.

Census data helps advocate for funding in Aboriginal community housing

Key questions in 2021 Census

  • How many bedrooms are there in this dwelling? 
  • Is this dwelling: (Owned outright; Owned with a mortgage; Purchased under a shared equity scheme; Rented; Occupied rent free; Occupied under life tenure scheme; Other)?
  • Who is this dwelling being rented from? 

  • How much does your household pay for this dwelling?

  • What is the person’s residential status in this dwelling?

The questions from the 2021 Census are output into variables. To see descriptions of the variables, including data use considerations, relevant to this topic see the 2021 Census dictionary: Housing.

Data downloads

Data table for Housing data summary

Other relevant data downloads can be found on the following pages:

Snapshot of Australia
  • Dwelling type by state and territory of enumeration - 2016 and 2021
  • Dwelling structure by state and territory of enumeration - 2016 and 2021
  • Tenure type by state and territory of enumeration - 1996, 2016 and 2021

Other ABS links

To access more 2021 Census data, see Search Census data or to build your own data sets, see Census data tools.

Explore other ABS data: 

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