Notes on Person Characteristics

Age question 3 AGE
Age is shown as completed years at last birthday. Where the respondent has failed to state an age this was imputed and the imputation noted. Briefly, age is imputed using other information on the Schedules, for example, number of children in family, duration of marriage, as well as specially constructed random age tables.

Age left school question 18 ALS
The purpose of this question which relates only to persons 15 years of age and over is to determine the highest level of primary or secondary education completed. For those persons without post-secondary qualifications (as indicated by the answer to Question 22) age left school indicates the educational level attained. Age left school is asked instead of 'level of schooling' to overcome confusion caused by the differences in State and overseas education systems and the variations in them over past decades.

Birthplace of father question 9 BPF
'Birthplace of father' and 'birthplace of mother' (BPM) each incorporate the same lists of countries. However, the number of countries coded is less than for 'birthplace of individual'.

The stated birthplace was coded to one of the following 20 countries, groups of countries or areas

Australia Yugoslavia Turkey
United Kingdom and EireOther countries in EuropeOther countries in Asia
GermanyCyprusUSA and Canada
GreeceBangladesh, India, PakistanOther countries in America
ItalySri LankaArab Republic of Egypt
MaltaIndonesia, Malaysia, PhilippinesAll other countries

Birthplace of individual question 10 BPL
Birthplace was coded to the States and Territories of Australia, Australia (undefined), at sea, and 97 further countries and areas. Where the respondent failed to supply the information on his/her place of birth, this was imputed, principally on the basis of answers to questions on country of citizenship, birthplace of parents, racial origin, and languages usually spoken.

Birthplace of mother question 9 BPM
The same output classification categories apply as for 'birthplace of father'.

Birthplace of parents derived from answers to question 14BPP
This characteristic consists of a selection of countries under three headings:

(a) Birthplace of father same as birthplace of mother -. . . (countries listed) ;

(b) Father born in -. . . (countries listed), mother born elsewhere, or not stated;

(c) Mother born in -. . . (countries listed), father born elsewhere, or not stated.

Childminding - facilities used question 17 KID
This census characteristic relates to persons age 6 years or under and not at school. Output categories include 'not minded', 'minded' at different locations separately and in combination, 'not stated' and 'not applicable'.

Country of citizenship question 11 CIT
The major justification for asking citizenship or nationality is the need to identify the size of groups eligible to vote. The classification is split into 'Commonwealth' and 'non-Commonwealth' countries and includes a category for 'stateless'.

Education institution: type of question 20 TYP
This census characteristic relates to persons 5 years of age and over and includes output categories for primary, secondary and special schools by education sector, other educational institutions including universities, 'not attending' an education institution and 'not stated'. Education questions presented some problems in coding due to abbreviated responses, partial non-response and misunderstanding of the question.

Employment Status derived from answers to question 32 question 37EMP
This characteristic relates to persons aged 15 years and over. Categories are 'employed', 'not employed' and 'not in the labour force'.

Families in household-number of derived from answers to question 4NOF
This characteristic relates only to occupied private dwellings. Information is collected using the household as the basic unit of enumeration. A household is defined as a person or group of persons living as a domestic unit with common eating arrangements. For census purposes every family must have a head. Where none was stated by the respondent a head was imputed during the coding process.Having determined the head of the household, one or more families were then identified, based on specific relationships to that head of the household.

Families within occupied private dwellings consist of at least a primary family unit (PFU) whose head is also the head of the household. If a private household contains more than one family unit all other families other than the PFU become secondary family units (SFU's). An SFU must consist of at least two persons, and there can be no more than three SFU's in any household. In the relatively few instances where there were more than three SFU's in a household, members of the additional SFU's were coded as "other non-family members".

In the 1976 Census a "commune" was recognised for the first time; it consists of a head (who is also head of the household) and of commune members. Many communes may not have been identified in the Census as a group of people were only identified as a commune when all the respondents described themselves as commune members.

More information on census family concepts is contained in Information Paper No. 4 - Family (2119.0) and Information Paper No. 9(I) - Classification of Characteristics (2112.0).

Family classification code - head of family derived from answers to questions 3, 4 and 20FHC
The classification of the family characteristic is coded by computer with reference to the answers about household members in questions 3, 4 and 20. Only persons in private dwellings are coded to families. Output codes for this classification are 'male head', 'female head - one parent family', 'female head - two parent family', 'other', 'not stated' and 'not applicable'.

Family classification code - type derived from answers to questions 3, 4 and 20FMC
The classification of the family characteristic is coded by computer with reference to the answers about household members in questions 3, 4 and 20. Only persons in private dwellings are coded to families. Only persons in private dwellings are coded to families.

In all family related classifications, only persons present in the household on census night are included. Thus, a number of one person families may exist only because other members of the family were absent on census night. Other families (and households) may be incomplete for the same reason.

Family head derived from answers to question 4FHD
This census characteristic relates to family units in private dwellings.

So that family units can be identified for census purposes, a head is designated for every household (defined as a person or group of persons living as a domestic unit with common eating arrangements). The household head is also designated head of the primary family unit (see below). If there are no other household members, the household head, by definition, comprises a one person household and a one person family. If there are other household members present on census night, the relationship to household head given in answer to question 4 (and in some cases other information on the schedule) is used to allocate them to the primary family unit, to one or more secondary family units, or to identify them as non-family members.

Secondary family units must consist of at least two persons, one of whom is designated family head, and only up to three SFU's are coded in any household. In the rare cases where there were more than one primary and three secondary families, the additional persons were treated as unrelated individuals.

The output classification for FHD includes categories for 'head of family', 'spouse' and 'other'. The category 'other' includes all occupants of non-private dwellings.

Family income derived from answers to questions 4 and 31FIN
Family income is defined as the sum of the midpoints of the income ranges (from no income to over $18,000) of the head of the family and spouse where both are present, or the individual income of the head where no spouse is present. Income of other family members is not included in calculating family income. See also note below on household income.

As with all characteristics relating to family, family income relates only to families in private dwellings. It is discussed in more detail in Information Paper Nos. 14 Family (2119.0) and 15 Income (2120.0).

Family number derived from answers to question 4FNO
This characteristic indicates whether each member of a household present on census night belongs to a primary family unit or to one of the three possible secondary family units, or is a non-family member. The 'not applicable' category applies to occupants of non-private dwellings.

Handicaps - effects of question 15 HCP
Every person was asked whether they considered themselves to be handicapped, by a serious long term illness or physical or mental condition, in one or more ways shown in the classification below. Respondents were asked to indicate, if applicable, all ways in which they were handicapped e.g. a respondent may have indicated that he/she was handicapped in three different ways, and each of these would be recorded separately. Output codes for this classification consisted of the following seven single handicaps - in education, getting or holding a job, getting about alone, doing housework, sporting or recreational activities, acts of daily living e.g. dressing or bathing, and in other ways - plus possible combinations of these single handicap areas, and 'not handicapped' and 'not stated'.

Holiday - of one week or more in last 12 months question 14 HOL
This characteristic relates to all persons, and asks about holidays of one week or more taken since 30 June 1975. Output codes for this classification are 'yes', 'no' and 'not stated'.

Hours worked - all jobs question 36 HRS
This characteristic relates to employed persons 15 years of age and over. Details are sought of the hours actually worked in the 'Main job' and 'Other job(s)' held in the week prior to the census.

Household income derived from answers to questions 3 and 31HIN
Household income relates to households in occupied private dwellings and is the sum of the mid-points of the ranges of the individual incomes of all persons 15 years of age and older in the dwelling on census night.

Detail on census income characteristics is contained in Information Paper No. 15 Income (2120.0).

Individual income question 31 INC
This characteristic relates to persons 15 years of age and over. The income question in the 1976 Census asked respondents to state in which of 14 income ranges their usual weekly income fell. Income for census purposes comprises wages and salaries including overtime, superannuation receipts, pensions, child endowment, other benefits, tips and gratuities, business and farm income (less operating expenses) and any other income, before the deduction of tax superannuation contributions, health insurance, etc. More detail on this census characteristic is provided in Information Paper No. 15 Income (2120.0).

Industry questions 39 and 40 IND
Information relating to industry of employment was collected in respect of persons aged 15 years and over who were employed members of the labour force.

Two questions were included on the census schedule to determine industry of employment. The industry in which a person is employed was determined by the kind of economic activity carried out by the establishment in which the person worked. Question 39 on the census schedule asked for the trading name of employer and address of workplace, and Question 40 asked for a description of activity.. During processing, the majority of the industry coding was performed from the 'Industry and Destination Zone Index' which is a list of industrial establishments pre-coded to industry. This index was based upon the Australian Standard Industrial Classification (ASIC) Preliminary Edition, 1969.

Further information about industry of employment is contained in Information Paper No. 9(ii) Industry Classification Extract (2113.0).

Internal migration indicator, 1975 - 1976 derived from answers to questions 6 and 7RMO
Answers to the questions on place of usual residence at census night and twelve months previously provide an indicator of whether internal migration occurred in that period in respect of the individual concerned. This characteristic is thus only applicable to persons one year of age and over. Only the net movement in the year to June 1976 is obtained: multiple movements, or 'out and back' movements, are not recorded.

More details on internal migration can be obtained by combining RMO with some of the place of usual residence characteristics (to obtain information on departure and destination locations, see RLC, RSC, and RSO below). Refer to Refer to Information Paper No. 16 Internal Migration (2123.0) for a fuller treatment of this topic.

Internal migration indicator, 1971, 1975, 1976 derived from answers to questions 6, 7 and 8INT
Output codes for this characteristic use a combination of information on dwelling, LGA and State for a person's usual residence in 1971, 1975 and 1976. Output codes also incorporate residence overseas and residence not stated, as well as categories for those born after June 1971 and June 1975.

More details on internal migration can be obtained by combining INT with some of the place of usual residence characteristics (to obtain information on departure and destination locations, see RLC, RSC, RSO and RSV below). Refer toInformation Paper No. 16 Internal Migration (2123.0) for a fuller treatment of this topic.

Issue-total from all marriages, number of question 28 TIS
This question is asked of all females 15 years of age and over who have ever been married. Total issue is tabulated for all live births in the following categories: 1 - 13 as separate categories; 14 and over; not stated; and not applicable.

Issue-total from current marriages, number of question 30 MIS
This question is asked of all females 15 years of age and over and now married, with regard to the current marriage. Issue from the current marriage is tabulated for all live births in the following categories: 1 - 13 as separate categories; 14 and over; not stated; and not applicable.

Jobs - number of derived from answers to questions 36JOB
This question is asked of persons aged 15 years of age and over and employed. The classification is derived from replies to the question on hours worked. Where the latter is not stated, but the respondent has indicated that he/she is employed, the number of jobs is imputed to one only. Output categories are 'one job', 'two or more jobs' and 'not applicable'.

Journey to work derived from answers to questions 8 and 39 DZA AND DZN
This characteristic relates only to employed persons in designated journey to work study areas who were enumerated at their usual place of residence on census night. Each study area is subdivided into a number of Origin Zones and Destination Zones. Origin Zones are Collection Districts which combine to form LGAs. Destination Zones are designed in consultation with Transport and Planning Authorities in each State and also combine to form LGAs. Some parts of a Study Area may only be Origin Zones if they are important only as origins of commuting rather than places of work.

The study areas are:

Sydney/ Wollongong/ Newcastle
Melbourne/ Geelong
Brisbane/Gold Coast
Adelaide
Perth
Hobart
Launceston
Canberra/ Queanbeyan

DZA is the mnemonic for study area while DZN applies to destination zone codes. DZA must always be used with DZN to identify the study area to which the destination zone codes relate.

Journey to work data provide statistics on journey to work patterns, employment location and 'daytime populations'. Information on this characteristic is derived at the coding stage using the responses to the question on usual residence and address of place of work. Specific addresses are not entered onto the computer record; only CD of origin (i.e. of home) and destination (i.e. for work) zones are entered.

The accuracy of journey to work data is especially affected at small area level by the time lapse between collection of the data and its tabulation. Therefore, care must be taken in the interpretation of the data. Users should also be aware of the sampling errors that are the result of the sample processing. Further information on journey to work is contained in Information Paper No. 17 Journey to Work (2124.0).

Language - English / no English question 19 LNA
This question is asked of all persons aged five years and overs. This classification relates to persons who regularly speak English only or English and one or more other languages. Output codes are 'English only', 'English and one other language', 'English and two other languages', 'English and three or more other languages', 'No English', 'not stated' and 'not applicable'.

Language - foreign languages question 19 LNB
This question is asked of all persons aged five years and overs. This classification shows languages actually recorded in question 19 as being spoken regularly. Twenty-two separate languages are identified, as well as the output codes 'language same as birthplace', 'not stated' and 'not applicable'. Up to three languages other than English were recorded for each person.

Licensed to drive a motor vehicle or motor bike derived from answers to questions 23, and 24LIC
This question is asked of all persons aged over 15 years. Output codes are 'licensed to drive a motor vehicle only', 'licensed to drive a motor bike only', 'licensed to drive both', 'not licensed', 'not stated' and 'not applicable'.

Life assurance question 16 INS
This question is asked of all persons. Output codes are 'life not covered', 'life covered' and 'not stated'.

Marriage - duration of question 29 DUR
While this question was asked of all persons 'now married', results are only tabulated for 'now married' women aged 15 years and over, for use in fertility studies.

The 1976 Census classification is up to 59 years in single years, with 60 years and over combined into one group.

Marital status question 5 MST
The 1976 question on marital status includes a category for 'married but permanently separated'. Where the respondent failed to supply a marital status the latter has been imputed and the imputation noted. The imputation is made on the basis of other information on the Schedule, principally age, family structure, duration of marriage (if applicable) etc. and involves the use of specially designed random marital status tables.

Occupation question 38 OCC
Information on occupation was collected for all employed members of the labour force aged 15 years of age and over.

For classification purposes, an occupation is defined as a collection of jobs sufficiently similar in their main tasks to be grouped under a common title. In other words, an occupation classification relates basically to the kind of work performed. The classification of a person's occupation from response to the census question is difficult because one kind of work can be described in different ways and, conversely, many different kinds of work can be described by a single name. Because of this there are often problems in allocating standard occupation codes to responses to question 38, which consist of each person's self - perception and self - description of his/her occupation.

The coding of occupation was based on the Australian Classification of Occupations which was adapted from the principles embodied in the international Standard Classification of Occupations issued by the International Labour Office, Geneva.

Further information on occupation is contained in Information Paper No. 9(iii) Occupation Classification Extract (2114.0).

Occupational status derived from answers to questions 32, 33 ,34 ,35 ,36 and 37STC
This characteristic embraces the concepts of employment status, labour force status and occupational status used elsewhere in ABS publications, and includes categories for: wage and salary earner; self-employed; employer; unpaid helper, working 15 hours or more in a family business; unemployed; not in the labour force; and not applicable (i.e. persons aged less than 15 years). The category 'unemployed' is further broken down into 'unemployed, looking for first job' and 'unemployed, looking for work (not first job)'.

The census definition of unemployed uses the week before census night as the reference period, whereas other ABS statistics of the unemployed have a four week reference period. For an explanation of occupational status and related characteristics refer to Information Paper No. 9(iii) Occupation Classification Extract (2114.0).

Overseas born derived from answers to question 12OSB
This characteristic is asked of all persons. Output codes are 'Australian born' and 'overseas born'.

Pensions and benefits received question 25 BEN
This characteristic is asked of all persons aged 15 years and over. Respondents were specifically asked to exclude refunds from private or government medical funds. Output codes from this classification include 'not receiving pension or benefit', individual types of pensions or benefits and combinations of pensions or benefits, 'not stated' and 'not applicable'. This characteristic does not include receipt of superannuation or annuities, which is covered in a separate classification (see Superannuation or Annuity below).

Period of residence in Australia question 12 PER
This characteristic relates only to the overseas born population. The number of years a person born overseas had been resident in Australia is calculated from the answer to question 12, which asked for year of first arrival in Australia.

For the 1976 Census, period of residence in Australia was tabulated up to 28 years in single years with a further category for 29 years or longer. This question presented some problems in terms of the level of non-response obtained. The high level of 'not stated' (above 30% in the ACT) has been confirmed as a response problem and not a processing or programming error. It is important that care be taken when using these data.

Primary family - number of persons in derived from answers to question 4NFP
This characteristic relates to the number of persons in each primary family unit (excluding non-family members) in occupied private dwellings.

Public/private sector (government/non - government) derived from answers to questions 39 and 40GNG
This characteristic relates to employed persons 15 years of age and over. The output classification categorises a person's employer into Australian Government (department or other); State Government (department or other); Local Government; Other; not applicable or not stated. Where 'industry' is not stated or so inadequately described as to make it impossible to determine industry sector, the latter is coded to 'Other'.

Qualification - level and field question 22 QAL
Question 22 asked of all persons aged 15 years and over, who were not still at school, if they had obtained any qualifications since leaving school; if they had, the highest qualification obtained since leaving school was sought. Details of the awarding institution, field of study and year obtained were also requested to assist in the processing of responses.

Qualifications were classified by level, and by field of study within each level according to the ABS Census Index of Qualifications, which is based on the United Nations International Standard Classification of Education. Further information on this characteristic is available in Information Paper No. 9(iv) Classification of Educational Qualifications (2115.0).

Racial origin question 18 RAC
The purpose of the race question is basically to identify two important minority groups in Australia - Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders. However, persons of Chinese and Pacific Islands origin may also be identified separately at a broad geographic level. The race question is one of self- identification; the respondent identified himself/herself as belonging to a particular racial group. A Pacific Islander is a person who indicates that they belong to the Aboriginal people of the islands defined as Oceania in the Birthplace classification; however, it should be noted that Norfolk Islanders are classified as European, but Maoris are classified as Pacific Islanders. For further information on this topic, refer to Information Paper No. 19 Racial Origin (2124.0).

Religion question 13 REL
At the 1976 Census the instruction alerting respondents to the optional nature of this question was placed on the front of the schedule. The non-response rate for this question in 1976 was 11.8%.

Relationship to head of family question 4 RLF
Household structure and family structure were determined from answers to the question which asked for relationship to household head'.

Details on family topics are included in Information Paper No. 4 Family (2119..0).

Resident (Australia)/visitor status question 6 REV
A visitor is any person who stated in answer to question 6, 'Where does each person usually live?', that his or her usual residence was overseas.

At the 1976 Census, this information was obtained by a direct question asked only of overseas born persons. All Australian born persons were grouped together into one category, 'resident, not stated, not applicable'. The second category in 1976 was 'visitor'.

Secondary family 1 NFA

Secondary family 2 derived from answers to questions 4NFB

Secondary family 3 NFC
These characteristics relate only to persons in private dwellings. For census purposes a household may not contain more than three secondary family units, and each secondary family must consist of at least two persons. (See also the notes on Families in household - number of). For more information refer to Information Paper No. 4 Family (2119..0).

Sex question 2 SEX
There is no 'not stated' category for this characteristic. Where a respondent failed to answer question 2, an answer was imputed from other information on the census form.

Superannuation or annuity derived from answers to questions 25; and; 26SPR
This characteristic relates only to persons aged 15 years and over. Questions 25 and 26 are combined to create five main output codes which are a combination of contributor / non-contributor status (question 26) and receipt of benefit from superannuation or annuity (question 25).

Travel to work (mode) question 41 TPT
This question asked how each person with a job travelled to work on the day before the census (i.e. Tuesday 29 June 1976). Persons who did not go to work on that day were asked to indicate how they usually travel to work. Persons who replied that they walked to work are classified to this category only if that was their sole method of travelling to work. Some modes of transport may appear in unexpected places, e.g. tram or ferry in the ACT. This is possible, as a person may have been working away from the usual location on the day before census day.

Usual activity derived from answers to questions 3, 20 and 32GNG
This characteristic relates all persons, and is derived from a combination of age, attendance at an educational institution and usual labour force activity. Output codes are 'child not at school', 'child at school', 'usually working', 'not usually working', 'full time student', 'other' and 'not stated'. industry sector, the latter is coded to 'Other'.

Usual labour force activity question 32 USW
This characteristic relates to persons aged 15 years and over. Respondents were asked to indicate whether they usually worked for wages, salary, payment or profit in a job, business or profession. Output codes for this characteristic are 'usually working', 'not usually working', 'not stated' and 'not applicable'.

Usul residence 1976 question 6 RMC
Tabulations for this characteristic include two categories: 'usual resident of this dwelling or not stated' and 'visitor to this dwelling'. For information giving the LGA and State of usual residence, other usual residence fields listed below must be used.

Refer also to: Information Paper No. 16 Internal Migration (2123.0). 'not applicable'.

Usual LGA of residence - 1976 derived from answers to question 6RLC
This classification contains a separate code for census LGA's in each State and Territory. Where a person did not state his/ her LGA of usual residence, RLC was regarded as 'not stated'. Where a person's usual residence was overseas, RLC was set to the country of usual residence using birthplace (BPL) codes. The usual residence characteristic 'Usual State of Residence - 1976' (RSC) must be used in combination with RLC.

For details, refer to Information Paper No. 16 Internal Migration (2123.0).

Usual State of residence - 1976 question 8 RSC
This characteristic contains separate categories for each Australian State and Territory, 'overseas' and 'not stated'. Refer to Census 81 - Usual Residence and Internal Migration (2155.0).

Usual LGA of residence - 1975 derived from answers to question 7RLO
This characteristic can only apply to persons one year of age and over. Codes are allocated for LGAs in each State and Territory, and a zero is allocated for responses of 'overseas', 'not stated' and 'not applicable' (i.e. persons aged less than one year). This characteristic must be used in combination with 'Usual State of Residence - 1975' (RSO).

For more detail refer to Information Paper No. 16 Internal Migration (2123.0).

Usual State of residence - 1975 question 7RSO
This characteristic contains separate categories for each Australian State and Territory, 'overseas', 'not stated' and 'not applicable' (i.e. persons aged less than one year).

See also Information Paper No. 16 Internal Migration (2123.0).

Usual LGA of residence - 1971 derived from answers to question 8RLV
This usual residence characteristic can only apply to persons five years of age and over. Codes are allocated for LGA's in each State and Territory, and a zero is allocated for responses of 'oversees', 'not stated' and 'not applicable' (persons aged less than five years).

RLV must be used in combination with 'Usual State of Residence - 1976' (RSV).

For further information on usual residence refer to Information Paper No. 16 Internal Migration (2123.0).

Usual State of residence - 1971 question 8RSV
This characteristic contains separate categories for each Australian State or Territory, 'overseas', 'not stated' and 'not applicable' (persons aged less than five years).

See also Information Paper No. 16 Internal Migration (2123.0).

Information on these usual residence characteristics for geographic areas other than LGA's can be obtained, but only for areas comprising combinations of whole LGA's. Statistics for areas which do not comprise whole LGA's, such as some statistical divisions and postcode areas (whose boundaries may cross LGA boundaries) cannot be accurately produced.

 

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