2970.0.55.021 - 2001 Census of Population and Housing - Fact Sheet: Journey to Work, 2001  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 03/06/2002  First Issue
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Journey to Work

Journey to Work (JTW) data provide information on where a person works rather than where a person lives. The address of each employed person's usual workplace is used to code the work destination zone. These destination zones are designed by the transport authorities in each state and territory and are used to analyse data on urban transport patterns and plan public transport systems.

Destination Zones aggregate to Statistical Local Area (SLAs), as the SLA is a standard geographic area used in Census products, such as the Working Population Profile. The relevant State/Territory transport authorities (STAs) design the zones using their own geographic data bases, therefore the indexes and boundaries used to code this data are the property of the STAs. Data at the Destination Zone level is not fully validated by the ABS. Users requiring this data below the SLA level should consult with the relevant State transport authority on all aspects of DZN data and boundaries, to ensure they are fully aware of any issues with the dataset.

Changes to Variable Names and their Mnemonics

For the 2001 Census, the JTW classification is in the form of a hierarchy. This hierarchy combines the fields Journey to Work: Study Area (JTWSAP) and Journey to Work: Destination Zone (JTWDZNP) which appear in the 2001 Census Dictionary (cat. no. 2901.0). This hierarchy is also the equivalent of the two fields that existed for the 1996 Census, Work Destination Study Area (DZSP) and Work Destination Zone (DZNP).

Changes to Geographic Coverage

For the 2001 Census, there are important changes related to the geographic coverage and applicable population for JTW data that allow a more comprehensive view of work-related transport patterns across Australia. In previous censuses, JTW Study Areas were limited to major urban areas in each state and territory. For the 2001 Census, JTW coding has been expanded to encompass the whole of Australia (excluding External Territories). Thus, each state and territory consists of a Detailed Study area and an Extended Study area. Data is available for these two types of study areas at the SLA level from the ABS.

Study Areas

The workplace address given by respondents for the week prior to the Census date is coded to a Study Area. Study Areas are designed by the transport authorities in each state and territory and cover all of Australia.

Coding Conventions

    • the JTW Detailed Study Area is allocated a code of 1, preceded by the relevant State code e.g. 11 indicates NSW JTW Detailed Study Area; and
    • the JTW Extended Study Area is allocated a code of 2, preceded by the relevant State code e.g. 12 indicates NSW JTW Extended Study Area.

Detailed Study Areas

Similar to the Study Areas used for the 1996 Census, Detailed Study Areas cover the urban centres of:
    • Sydney/Wollongong/Newcastle;
    • Melbourne/Geelong/Latrobe Valley/Bendigo/Ballarat;
    • Brisbane/Gold Coast/Sunshine Coast;
    • Adelaide;
    • Perth;
    • Hobart/Launceston/Burnie/Devonport;
    • Darwin/Alice Springs; and
    • Canberra/Queanbeyan.

Detailed Study Areas are comprised of Destination Zones which aggregate to SLAs. In Detailed Study Areas the lowest level of the JTW hierarchy is the Destination Zone. Note that Destination Zones do not concord with census Collection Districts (CDs) but they do aggregate to SLAs. DZNs are designed for the purpose of defining where people work, not where they live or for the collection of Census data.

Extended study areas

These are a single Study Area in each state and territory which simply includes any SLA not included in a Detailed Study Area. The SLAs included in Extended Study Areas do not generally comprise Destination Zones, but there are some SLAs that do.

Destination Zones

The workplace address given by respondents for the week prior to Census Night is coded to a Destination (place of work) Zone. For output purposes Destination Zones aggregate to SLAs as SLAs are a standard output area for Census data. Destination Zones are defined by the transport authorities in each state and territory and do not cover all of Australia. Although they are defined for all Detailed Study Areas, they are also defined for some SLAs in the Extended Study Areas.

Coding Conventions

Destination Zones are not allocated names. The coding conventions are as follows:
    • within a JTW Detailed Study Area, a ten-digit code is assigned comprising state/territory code (digit 1), Study Area code (digit 2), SLA code (digits 3–6) and Destination Zone code (digits 7–10); and
    • within a JTW Extended Study Area, a ten-digit code is assigned comprising state/territory code (digit 1), Study Area code (digit 2), SLA code (digits 3–6) and the reserved Destination Zone code 9000 (digits 7–10). Note that some SLAs within the JTW Extended Study Area have been divided into more than one Destination Zone. For these exceptions, the reserved Destination Zone code 9000 has been replaced with a unique four-digit number for each destination zone within the SLA concerned.

Cross Borders Statistical Local Areas (SLAs)

Queensland and the ACT have included certain NSW SLAs in their Detailed Study Area definitions. However, these SLAs have been coded as Extended Study Areas in the NSW data under the Area description 'NSW Extended/Cross Borders'. The NSW SLA of "Yass", for example, is sub-described as "Yass (A) (Cross border ACT)". Thus, to correctly aggregate Detailed Study Areas for the Queensland and the ACT, you may need to include these Cross Border SLAs.

Queensland Cross Borders SLAs:

The following 'NSW Extended/Cross Borders' SLAs are included in Queensland Detailed Study Areas as defined by the Queensland transport authority:
          7551 Tweed Part A
          7552 Tweed Part B

ACT Cross Borders SLAs:

The following 'NSW Extended/Cross Borders' SLAs are included in the ACT Detailed Study Areas as defined by the ACT transport authority:
          2050 Cooma-Monaro
          3600 Gunning
          6450 Queanbeyan
          8651 Yarrowlumla Part A
          8652 Yarrowlumla Part B
          8700 Yass


Detailed (1) or Extended (2) Indicator
Destination Zone
To aggregate all Qld Detailed study areas, include:
Qld SLAs (Detailed)
as supplied
as supplied
plus these 'NSW Extended/Cross Borders' SLAs:
Tweed Part A
as supplied
Tweed Part B
as supplied
To aggregate all ACT Detailed study areas, include:
ACT SLAs (Detailed)
as supplied
as supplied
plus these 'NSW Extended/Cross Borders' SLAs:
as supplied
as supplied
as supplied
Yarrowlumla Part A
as supplied
Yarrowlumla Part B
as supplied
as supplied

*The identifiers for each state/territory are: NSW: 1; Vic: 2; Qld: 3; SA: 4; WA: 5; Tas: 6; NT: 7; ACT: 8; OT: 9.

Data Interpretation

Reference Period Differences

The data variables most commonly cross classified with 'workplace address' are SLA of Usual Residence Census Night (SLAUCP) and Method of Travel to Work (MTWP). However, the Census questions for these variables relate to different reference periods. SLA of Usual Residence Census Night (SLAUCP) (which is obtained from Q.7) and 'Method of Travel to Work (MTWP) (obtained from Q.41) both refer to Census day. 'Workplace address' (obtained from Q.37) refers to the main job held last week, i.e. the week before Census Night.

The 'Workplace address' question refers to
last week rather than Census Night to improve comparability of Census labour force data with other ABS labour force data. Thus, the different reference periods for these questions can produce outliers in the data who are:
    • people who changed their place of work between last week and Census Night; or
    • people who changed their place of usual residence during the week prior to Census Night; or
    • people employed in the week prior to the Census but who were no longer employed on Census day.

Where 'place of enumeration' data is being referenced, an additional possible outlier in the data is people who were not at their usual residence on Census Night.

Person's workplace address

One issue identified with 1996 Census JTW data, was that some people answered question 35 by providing the head office address of their employer rather than the address of the actual location where they worked. For 2001, question 37 is the equivalent question and rather than ask for "the employer's workplace address" , the question asks for "the person's workplace address". This was done to minimise the number of respondents reporting the address of a head office rather than their actual workplace destination.

No fixed place of work

The instructions for question 37 were also changed with a view to improving the quality of the data. For the 2001 Census the instructions included: "For persons with no fixed place of work: - if the person usually travels to a depot to start work, provide depot address". This was done to capture the maximum possible JTW information by accurately coding the journeys to work of those with no fixed workplace address, but who usually journeyed to a specific address in order to begin work (for the main job held last week).

Data Comparability

JTW data have been produced from Australian population censuses since 1971. The JTW Study Areas and Destination Zones used to analyse data on each occasion have been redefined to take into account changes and growth within each state and territory. Consequently, JTW data are not comparable across Censuses.

Furthermore, in 1996 JTW data were available only for those people who lived and worked in the same study area. Any person who was enumerated in a study area but gave a workplace address that was outside this study area was coded as 'Worked Outside Study Area'. For example, if a person commuted from Mittagong to work in Sydney, JTW data for that person could not be obtained. For the 2001 Census, the workplace address given by employed people has been coded to both an SLA and a Destination Zone if they work in a Detailed study area, or an SLA only (in the majority of cases) if they work in an Extended study area.

Geographical Comparability

To review 1996 data using the 2001 study areas and destination zones, please apply to the relevant state or territory transport authority. Contact details are provided below
. Customised information is also available from these authorities, on request.

Availability of Area Codes and Boundaries

To assist ABS clients in understanding JTW data, listings of SLAs are available from the ABS National Information and Referral Service. However, the Destination Zone boundaries are determined by the transport authority in each state or territory. Clients who would like to obtain the boundaries in digital or mapped form should contact the authority in the relevant state or territory, or the ABS Tasmanian office for Tasmanian boundary data. JTW data below the level of SLA is not fully validated by the ABS and as such should only be used in consultation with the relevant State or Territory transport authority.

Contacts for JTW Destination Zone Boundaries

New South Wales
Client Services Manager
Transport Data Centre
NSW Department of Transport
Level 18
227 Elizabeth Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Ph: 02 9268 2243
Fax: 02 9268 2853
email: tim.raimond@transport.nsw.gov.au

Network Evaluation & Analysis
Road System Management
Vic Roads 3rd Floor
60 Denmark St
Kew Vic. 3101
Ph: 03 9854 2220
Fax: 03 9853 0341
email: John_Davison@vrnotes.roads.vic.gov.au

Strategy and Planning Services
Qld Department of Transport
GPO Box 2595
Brisbane Qld 4001
Ph: 07 3834 3979
Fax: 07 3834 3993
email: carolyn.m.grainger@transport.qld.gov.au

South Australia
Transport Strategy
Transport SA
PO Box 1
Walkerville SA 5081
Ph: 08 8204 8805
Fax: 08 8204 8835

email: lindsay.oxlad@transport.sa.gov.au

Western Australia
Senior GIS Analyst
Research Branch
Department for Planning & Infrastructure
Albert Facey House
469–489 Wellington St
Perth WA 6000
Ph: 08 9264 7783
Fax: 08 9264 7566
email: john.patterson@planning.wa.gov.au

Census Liaison Officer
Australian Bureau of Statistics
GPO Box 66A
Hobart Tas. 7001
Ph: 03 6222 5839
Fax: 03 6222 5824
email: adam.czapracki@abs.gov.au

Northern Territory
Transport Planning
Department of Infrastructure, Planning & Environment
GPO Box 2520
Darwin NT 0801
Ph: 08 8924 7089
Fax: 08 8924 7937
email: Phil.Cross@nt.gov.au

Australian Capital Territory
Capital Territory Manager
Transport Strategy and Planning Section
Department of Urban Services
GPO Box 1908
Canberra ACT 2601
Ph: 02 6207 1721
Fax: 02 6207 1710
email: Kuga.Kugathas@act.gov.au