Age

Age has been collected in all Australian Censuses for each person. Age is calculated from date of birth when provided, otherwise stated age is used. If neither is provided then age is imputed.

Age data, combined with sex data, are essential for the production of accurate population estimates based on the Census count.

Ancestry

A person's ancestry, when used in conjunction with the person's country of birth and whether the person's parents were born in Australia or overseas, provides a good indication of the ethnic background of first and second generation Australians. Respondents were asked to consider and mark the ancestries they most closely identified with.

For the 2011 Census, as with the 2006 Census, respondents had the option of selecting two ancestries. As a result the number of ancestry responses may be greater than the number of people who answered the ancestry question. However, if two responses from a respondent were categorised to the Other category in the ancestry table(s), then they would only be counted as a single response.

There are a number of changes to Ancestry for the 2011 Census. For details of these changes see the 2011 Census Dictionary (cat. no. 2901.0)

Australian Statistical Geography Standard

For the 2011 Census the Australian Statistical Geography Standard replaced the Australian Standard Geographical Classification. The ASGS is a hierarchically stuctured classification with a number of spatial units to satisfy different statistical purposes. For information on this new geography standard see Discussion Paper: Census of Population and Housing - ABS Views on 2011 Census Output Geography, 2011 (cat. no. 2911.0.55.002) on the ABS website.

Average

The average equals the sum of all the values in a set of data divided by the number of values.

Commonwealth Electoral Divisions

Commonwealth Electoral Divisions (CEDs) cover all of Australia and do not generally cross state/territory borders but there are two exceptions. Jervis Bay territory is included in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) electorate of Fraser and the territories of Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands are included in the Northern Territory (NT) electorate of Lingiari. This means that state/territory totals for the ACT and the NT derived from CEDs will not equal the official state/territory total counts.

Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) participants

These participants are counted as employed persons and are aged 15 years and over. CDEP participation is only identified on the Interviewer Household Form; this form is designed specifically for use in discrete Indigenous communities.

Core Activity Need for Assistance

Core Activity Need for Assistance is used to measure the number of persons with a profound or severe disability. People with a profound or severe disability are defined as those people needing help or assistance in one or more of the three core activity areas of self-care, mobility and communication because of a disability, long term health condition (lasting six months or more), or old age. This variable was first introduced in the 2006 Census.

Country of birth

There are four country of birth variables. Country of Birth of Person which records a person's country of birth, Birthplace of Mother, Birthplace of Father and Birthplace of Parents which indicate whether a person's parents were born in Australia or overseas. Data for the Australian External Territories are included in the 'Born elsewhere' category in the country of birth tables.

Country of birth (minor and major groups)

Individual countries in the Standard Australian Classification of Countries (SACC), which is used to code Country of Birth in the Census, are grouped to form minor groups on the basis of geographic proximity and similarity in terms of cultural, social, economic and political characteristics. Major groups are formed by aggregating minor groups on the basis of geographic proximity and a degree of similarity in their characteristics. Further details are available from the Methods & Standards page on the ABS web site
Data for the Australian External Territories in the country of birth (major group) tables are included in Oceania and Antarctica: Other.

Dependent child

A dependent child is a person who is a natural, adopted, step or foster child, or nominal child, of a couple or lone parent usually resident in the same household and who is either a child under 15 years of age, or a dependent student (see Dependent student below). To be regarded as a child the person can have no identified partner or child of his/her own usually resident in the household; a separate family in the household is formed in this instance.

Dependent student

This refers to a natural, adopted, step, or foster child who is 15–24 years of age, who attends a secondary or tertiary educational institution as a full-time student and for whom there is no identified partner or child of his/her own usually resident in the same household.

Dwelling Type

This variable classifies dwellings into 6 basic dwelling types. Occupied private dwellings include residences in caravan/residential parks or camping grounds, marinas, manufactured homes estates and retirement villages (self contained).

Unoccupied private dwellings in caravan/residential parks or camping grounds, marinas, and manufactured homes estates are not included in the Census. For the 2011 Census unoccupied private dwellings in retirement villages (self-contained) are included. For the 2011 Census the category of Shipping is identified separately; it was previously included in the category Off-shore.

The other four groups are; Non Private Dwellings (NPD), Migratory, Off-Shore, and Shipping.

Employed full/part-time, away from work

Employed, worked full-time indicates a person worked 35 hours or more in all jobs during the week prior to Census Night. Employed, worked part-time indicates that a person worked less than 35 hours in all jobs during the week prior to Census Night.

For Census purposes people who stated they were employed but worked zero hours in the week prior to Census Night have been coded to Employed, away from work.

External Territories

Data for Australian External Territories are included in the 'Born elsewhere' category in the country of birth tables. In the country of birth (major group) tables they are included in Oceania and Antarctica: Other.

Family variables

Family variables are based on place of enumeration but are only derived for people counted at their usual residence. Temporarily absent persons are used to classify types of relationships and families existing in a household, but they are not used in the derivation of any other Census characteristics or in other Census output.

First, Second and Third Release processing

First Release tables are those tables containing classifications which are easily processed. Second Release tables contain classifications which require further processing or a complex derivation. Third Release is for the release of data on population-based geographical units, such as Remoteness Areas.

Highest Year of School Completed

Highest Year of School Completed measures the highest level of primary or secondary school completed. It is coded using the Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED).

Hours Worked

Hours Worked is the number of hours worked in all jobs in the week prior to Census Night. It excludes any time off but includes any overtime or extra time worked. Data are available for individual hours worked ranging from 0-99 hours. The Hours Worked variable is used to determine whether a person is employed on a full-time or part-time basis. Refer to Employed full/part-time, away from work.

Household

A household is defined as one or more persons, at least one of whom is at least 15 years of age, usually resident in the same private dwelling.

Under this definition, all occupants of a dwelling form a household and complete one Census form.

Household Composition

This variable describes the type of household within a dwelling. Household Composition indicates whether a family is present or not and whether or not other unrelated household members are present.

A maximum of three families can be coded to a household. Lone person households can contain visitors. Visitor only households can contain overseas visitors.

The Other non-classifiable category includes those households which the collector determined were occupied on Census Night but where the collector could not make contact; households that contained only persons aged under 15 years; or households which could not be classified elsewhere in this classification because there was insufficient information submitted on the Census form.

Households with Indigenous person(s)

Households have been divided into those with Indigenous persons, and other households depending on whether households have Indigenous residents or not. Both family and non-family households (such as group households) can be grouped in this way.

Households with Indigenous persons include households that had at least one person of any age as a usual resident at the time of the Census who identified as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin and who was present on Census Night.

Incorporated Enterprises

Incorporated enterprises are those entities which are given corporate, or separate legal entity status under legislation. For example, Pty Ltd companies are incorporated enterprises.

Indigenous Area

Indigenous Areas (IAREs), which ideally have a minimum population of around 250 Indigenous persons, are aggregates of Indigenous Locations (ILOCs). IAREs aggregate to Indigenous Regions (IREGs), and cover the whole of Australia without gaps or overlaps. Detailed Indigenous Census data are available at the Indigenous Area level.

Indigenous family

In previous Censuses, the definition of an Indigenous family was a family where either the reference person and/or spouse/partner were of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin. From 2006, Indigenous family data has not been output as previously due to this definition not adequately reflecting the social and family relationships relevant in the Indigenous population. Data has been output as Household with Indigenous person(s) and Other households. Please refer to Households with Indigenous person(s).

Indigenous household

Prior to the 2006 Census, the definition of an Indigenous household was a family household where any family in the household was defined as an Indigenous family, or a lone person household where the lone person is of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin. Group households were not included.

From the 2006 Census, data has been output as Household with Indigenous person(s) and Other households. Refer to Household with Indigenous person(s). Due to a definition change, data will not be comparable with earlier Censuses. Clients may request data using other definitions of Indigenous households.

Indigenous Location

Indigenous Locations (ILOCs), which ideally have a population of at least 100 Indigenous persons, are comprised of one or more Statistical Areas Level 1 (SA1s). ILOCs aggregate to Indigenous Areas (IAREs), and cover the whole of Australia without gaps or overlaps. Summary Indigenous Census data are available at the Indigenous Location level.

Indigenous Region

Indigenous Regions (IREGs) are aggregates of Indigenous Areas (IAREs). IREGs aggregate to the State and Territory level, and cover the whole of Australia without gaps or overlaps.

Indigenous Status

The question about Indigenous origin on the Census form asks whether each person is of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin. Torres Strait Islanders are the descendants of the Indigenous people of the Torres Strait which is located between the tip of Cape York and Papua New Guinea.

Industry of Employment

Industry of Employment is coded using the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) 2006, Revision 1 published in 2011. Industry of Employment is classified based on the industry of the person's employer. It relates to the main job held by the person in the week prior to Census Night.

Labour Force Status

Labour Force Status indicates whether a person was employed, unemployed or not in the labour force in the week prior to Census Night. Applicable only to persons aged 15 years and over.

Language Spoken at Home

Language Spoken at Home records the main language that is spoken within the home. Language is coded using the Australian Standard Classification of Languages (ASCL) Second Edition, released in 2011. Only one language is coded for each person.

Marital status

Registered Marital Status is used to identify a person's formal registered marital status.

Social Marital Status is based on a person's living arrangements to determine whether a couple relationship exists with another person usually resident in the same household and includes the category of de facto marriage. Same-sex couples are included in the de facto marriage category.

Median

The median is the middle value in a set of data when all the values are arranged in order. If there is no middle value (i.e. there is an even number of values) then the median is calculated by determining the average of the two middle values. Median total personal income is applicable to persons aged 15 years and over.

Method of Travel to Work

This variable indicates the method of travel to work that was used on the day of the Census. Data collected are used in conjunction with place of work data to assist in the planning of public transport systems. Up to three methods of travel to work are counted for each person.

Mortgage Repayment (monthly) ranges

This variable measures the monthly amount (in ranges) spent on mortgage repayments. It is applicable to occupied private dwellings being purchased, including dwellings being purchased under a rent/buy scheme.

The 2011 Census is the first time that Nil repayments have been coded separately. In previous censuses these responses were coded to the Not stated category.

nec

Not elsewhere classified. For further information, see the 2011 Census Dictionary (cat. no. 2901.0).

nfd

Not further defined. For further information, see the 2011 Census Dictionary (cat. no. 2901.0).

Non-school Qualification

Non-School Qualification: Field of Study describes the field of study of a person's highest completed non-school qualification. Non-school Qualification: Level of Education describes the level of a person's highest completed non-school qualification. Non-school qualifications were coded using the Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED).

Number of Children Ever Born

This variable records the number of children ever born to women aged 15 years and over. It counts live births.
In the 2011 Time Series Profile, data for this variable is available for 2006 and 2011 only.

Number of Bedrooms

This variable provides a count of the number of bedrooms in each occupied private dwelling. It includes caravans in caravan parks.

Number of Motor Vehicles

This variable records the number of registered motor vehicles (including company owned vehicles) that are garaged or parked at or near private dwellings on Census Night. Motorbikes, motor scooters and tractors are excluded.

Occupation

Occupation is coded using the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) First Edition Revision 1 released in 2009. The Occupation code is based on the responses given as to the main job held in the week prior to Census Night.

Overseas visitors

Overseas visitors are those people who indicate on their Census form they will be usually resident in Australia for less than one year. Overseas visitors are separately identified for all variables except Age, Sex, and Registered Marital Status.

Overseas visitors are excluded from all profile tables that are based on place of usual residence.

Place of Enumeration

The Place of Enumeration count is a count of people based on where they were located on Census Night. In many cases people are located away from where they usually live. Census counts by place of enumeration include overseas visitors.

Place of Usual Residence

Place of Usual Residence refers to the place where a person lived or intended to live for a total of six months or more in 2011. Counts on this basis are used to minimise the effects of seasonal fluctuations in holiday/resort areas. The 2011 Census asked three questions on usual residence; where the person lived on Census Night, where the person usually lived one year ago, and where the person usually lived five years ago.

Place of Usual Residence One Year Ago is only applicable to persons aged one year and over, while Place of Usual Residence Five Years Ago is only applicable to persons aged five years and over.

If a person did not state their place of usual residence on the Census form, it is imputed. For further information, see the 2011 Census Dictionary (cat. no. 2901.0).

Place of Work

Place of Work relates to the place where a person worked in the week prior to Census Night. It is derived from the workplace address question on the Census form. Place of Work is coded to a Destination Zone. Destination Zones are designed by transport authorities in each state and territory. Destination Zones cover all of Australia. Place of Work can be broken down to the levels of State, Local Government Area (LGA), Statistical Area Level 2 (SA2) and Destination Zone. Journey to work can be obtained by cross classifying Place of Work data with Place of Usual Residence data and/or Method of Travel to Work data.

If a person stated that they were employed but did not state their workplace address, they were coded to the Not stated category. The Not stated category is included at the Australia level but is not included in the state and territory figures. Therefore, state and territory data may not aggregate to the Australia level as their state and territory of employment cannot be determined.

Postal Area

Postal Areas are ABS approximations of Australia Post postcodes, created by allocating whole Statistical Areas Level 1 (SA1s) on a 'best fit' basis to postcodes.

Census Postal Areas exclude non-mappable Australia Post postcodes e.g. post office box postcodes. This means that there are more Australia Post postcodes than Census Postal Areas.

Every SA1 is allocated one valid Australia Post postcode as the Postal Area for that SA1. When a person is enumerated in that SA1, the Postal Area is allocated to the person as their Postal Area of Enumeration.

When a person's address is coded to their SA1 of Usual Residence, the Postal Area of the SA1 is allocated to the person as their Postal Area of Usual Residence.

Proficiency in Spoken English/Language

For each person who speaks a language other than English at home, their proficiency in spoken English (self-assessed) is identified. Persons who did not state their language spoken at home and/or proficiency in English have been coded to the Not stated category.

Proportion of dwellings that need 1 or more extra bedrooms

This variable is a measure of housing utilisation based on a comparison of the number of bedrooms in a dwelling with a series of household demographics, such as the number of usual residents, their relationship to each other, age and sex. There is no single standard measure for housing utilisation. However, the ABS has used a Canadian model which is considered by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare to conform reasonably to social norms in Australia.

The Canadian National Occupancy Standard for housing appropriateness is sensitive to both household size and composition. This measure assesses the bedroom requirements of a household by specifying that:
there should be no more than 2 people per bedroom;
children less than 5 years of age of different sexes may reasonably share a bedroom;
children 5 years of age or older of opposite sex should have separate bedrooms;
children less than 18 years of age and of the same sex may reasonably share a bedroom; and
single household members 18 years and over should have a separate bedroom, as should parents or couples.

Reference person

The Family/Household Reference Person Indicator identifies the person who is used as the basis for determining the relationships within a household. It is usually the person who has identified himself/herself as Person One on the Census Household Form. The reference person must be someone who is usually resident in the household and aged 15 years or over and is present on Census night.

Relationship in Household

Relationship in Household describes the relationship of each person residing within the same household. A child is a person of any age who is a natural, adopted, step or foster child of a couple or lone parent who has no partner or child of their own usually resident in the household. All persons under 15 years of age are considered to be dependent children. A non-dependent child is a child aged 15 years and over and who is not a full-time student aged 15-24 years. Refer to Dependent child and Dependent student.

Religious Affiliation

This variable identifies a person's religious affiliation and is coded using the Australian Standard Classification of Religious Groups (ASCRG), Second Edition, 2011. Answering this Census question is optional.

Rent (weekly)

Rent (weekly) records the weekly rent paid for a dwelling. It is applicable to occupied private dwellings being rented (including dwellings being occupied rent-free).

Table population

Table population is a description of what the table is counting. For example, tables containing marital status usually have a table population of persons aged 15 years and over. The population appears under the table title.

Tenure Type

Tenure Type describes whether a dwelling is owned, being purchased, rented or being occupied under some other arrangement. Tenure Type is only applicable to occupied private dwellings.

Total Family Income (weekly)

Family income only applies to families in family households. It is calculated by summing the individual incomes reported by all family members aged 15 years and over. The Census collects individual income in ranges. Before these can be summed a specific dollar amount needs to be allocated to each person. Median incomes for each range (derived using data from the Survey of Income and Housing) are used for this purpose.

For the 2001 and 2006 Censuses, median incomes have been derived for the individual income ranges used in those Censuses and using survey data relevant to those Census years.

Family income is not calculated where a family member aged 15 years and over did not state their income, or was temporarily absent. These families are coded to the Partial income stated category.

Total Household Income (weekly)

Household income is calculated by summing the individual incomes reported by all household members aged 15 years and over. The Census collects individual income in ranges. Before they can be summed, a specific dollar amount needs to be allocated to each person. Median incomes for each range (derived using data from the Survey of Income and Housing) are used for this purpose.

For the 2001 and 2006 Censuses, medium incomes have been derived for the individual income ranges used in those Censuses and using survey data relevant to those Census years.

Household income is not calculated where a household member aged 15 years and over did not state their income, or was temporarily absent. These households are coded to the Partial income stated category.

Total Personal Income (weekly)

This variable indicates the total weekly income that is received and includes pensions and allowances. People are not asked to state their exact income, only to indicate the range into which their income falls. Applicable only to persons aged 15 years and over.

Type of Educational Institution Attending

This variable identifies the type of educational institution that a person attends. It is only applicable to persons attending an educational institution for study purposes. The categories cover pre-school through to tertiary institutions.

Type of Internet Connection

The Type of Internet Connection variable records whether an occupied private dwelling has Internet access, regardless of whether or not it is paid for by the household. Where a dwelling has more than one type of connection only one type is recorded.

Unincorporated Enterprises

Unincorporated enterprises are entities which do not have a form which is legally separate from their members. For example sole proprietors and partnerships.

Unpaid Assistance to a Person with a Disability

This variable records people who, in the two weeks prior to Census Night, spent time providing unpaid care, help or assistance to family members or others because of a disability, a long term illness or problems relating to old age. This includes people who are in receipt of a Carer Allowance or Carer Payment. It does not include work done through a voluntary organisation or group.

Unpaid Child Care

This variable records people who, in the two weeks prior to Census Night, spent time caring for a child/children (aged under 15 years) without pay. It includes people caring for their own children, whether they live with them or not and people looking after other children such as grandchildren or the children of relatives, friends or neighbours. It is applicable to persons aged 15 years and over.

Unpaid Domestic Work

This variable records people who spent time doing unpaid domestic work in either their own home or in other places for themselves or their family and other people in their household, in the week prior to Census Night. It is applicable to persons aged 15 years and over.

Usual residence, family and dwelling coding

Family and dwelling variables describe usual residence characteristics. For example, the Family Composition variable describes the relationship between the family reference person and each other member of that family (e.g. Couples with children, Couples without children, Lone parents etc). The variable takes into consideration persons temporarily absent from the household on Census Night, linking their relationships back to the reference person. If a spouse, for example, is temporarily absent from the family on Census Night, the coding of Family Composition maintains the couple relationship (rather than Lone Parent/Person) even though there is only one of the couple at home on Census Night. The variable is therefore providing usual residence information as it is the characteristic of the people usually in the family that determines the family type.

Census users should be aware that family variables are only derived if at least one family member is resident in the household on Census Night in order to complete temporarily absent information. If the whole family is absent from the household on Census Night, no family records are created for them.

Voluntary Work for an Organisation or Group

This variable records people who spent time doing unpaid voluntary work through an organisation or group, in the twelve months prior to Census Night. It excludes work done in a family business or as part of paid employment. It also excludes people whose main reason for undertaking voluntary work was to qualify for government benefits.

Year of Arrival in Australia

For people born overseas, this variable states the year they first arrived in Australia with the intention of staying for at least one year.