Census Characteristics

This section contains a 'look up' list of person and dwelling characteristics for which 1976 Census statistics are available. Characteristics of persons and dwellings were obtained directly from the questions included on the 1976 Census schedule. Also, a number of additional derived characteristics are produced through aggregation (e.g. household income) or cross-referencing of questions (e.g. internal migration).

The order in which characteristics are listed in this section is different from their order in Section 3 where individual characteristics are listed in alphabetical order. In this Section, characteristics are listed by topic groups; the mnemonic given after each characteristic, in the form of three alphabetic characters (e.g. BPL for birthplace of individual), is the abbreviation used in table descriptions in the Catalogue of 1976 Census Tables Final (2103.0).

Personal Characteristics

Topic GroupPerson characteristicMnemonic

Age left school ALS
BirthplaceBirthplace of father BPF
Birthplace of individual BPL
Birthplace of mother BPM
Birthplace of parents BPP
Period of residence in Australia PER
Resident (Australia)/visitor status REV
ChildmindingChildminding - facilities used KID
CitizenshipCountry of citizenship CIT
Education Age left school ALS
Educational institution: type of TYP
Qualification - level and field QAL
Qualification - year obtained YOQ
Employment Employment status EMP
Jobs - number of JOB
Public/private sector (government/non-government) GNG
Usual labour force activity USW
FamilyFamilies in household - number of NOF
Family classification code - head of family FHC
Family classification code - type FMC
Family head FHD
Family income FIN
Family number FNO
Income unit type IUT
Primary family - number of persons in NFP
Relationship to head of family RLF
Secondary Family 1 - number of persons NFA
Secondary Family 2 - number of persons NFB
Secondary Family 3 - number of persons NFC
Handicaps Handicaps - effects of HCP
Holidays Holidays - in last twelve months HOL
Hours worked Hours worked - all jobs HRS
Household Families in household - number of NOF
Income Family income FIN
Household income HIN
Individual income INC
Pensions and benefits recieved BEN
Superannuation or annuity SPR
Industry Industry IND
Insurance Life assurance INS
Internal migration Internal migration indicator - 1975, 76 RMO
Internal migration indicator - 1971, 75, 76 INT
Issue Issue - total from all marriages, number of TIS
Issue - total from current marriages, number of MIS
Journey to work Journey to work-destination zones DZN
Language Language - English / no English LNA
Language - foreign languages LNB
Licenses Licensed to drive a motor vehicle or motor bike LIC
Marriage Marriage - duration of DUR
Marriages - number of MMO
Marital status MST
OccupationOccupation OCC
Occupational status STC
Overseas born Overseas born OSB
Period of residence in Australia PER
Resident (Australia)/visitor status REV
Qualification Qualification - level and field QAL
Qualification - year obtained YOQ
Racial origin Racial origin RAC
Religion Religion REL
Schooling Age left school ALS
Educational institution: type of TYP
SexSex SEX
Travel to work Travel to work (mode) TPT
Journey to work-destination zones DZN
Usual residence Internal migration indicator 1975,'76 RMO
Internal migration indicator-1971,'75,'76 INT
Usual residence 1976 RMC
Usual LGA of residence-1976 RLC
Usual LGA of residence-1975 RLO
Usual LGA of residence-1971 RLV
Usual State of residence-1976 RSC
Usual State of residence-1975 RSO
Usual State of residence-1971 RSV

List of dwelling characteristics

Twelve questions relating to private dwellings were asked of the householder in the 1976 Census. Another three questions on the back of the census schedule were completed by the collector. Questions asked of the householder related to characteristics of the dwelling, while the collector completed questions relating to dwelling structure.

For census purposes, dwellings are divided into two main groups: private dwellings (which may be occupied or unoccupied) and non-private dwellings.

A private dwelling is normally a house or flat, but it can also be a tent, houseboat, or caravan if standing on its own block of land. A tent or caravan is not considered to be a private dwelling if it is occupied by members of a household resident in an adjacent dwelling, i.e. the tent or caravan is considered to be part of that adjacent dwelling.

An occupied private dwelling is defined as the premises occupied by a household on census night. For census purposes, a household is a person or group of persons who live together and eat together as a single domestic unit. It is possible, then, for more than one household to live in one house or structure. For example, a lodger who lives with a family and provides all his food for himself is not a member of the family's household but constitutes a separate household, and therefore completes a separate householder's schedule. Because an occupied dwelling is defined in this way, the number of households and number of occupied dwellings is identical and the number of occupied dwellings in an area, as defined for census purposes, may often be greater than the known number of structures.

An unoccupied private dwelling is a structure built specifically for living purposes and capable of being lived in, but unoccupied at the time of the census. Vacant houses, holiday houses, huts, cabins (other than seasonal worker's quarters) and houseboats are therefore counted as unoccupied dwellings; but vacant tents, garages and caravans (if not normally occupied) are not. Only private dwellings can be classified as unoccupied. Unoccupied dwellings include dwellings vacant because they have been newly completed, dwellings vacant for demolition or repair, holiday homes, dwellings to let and dwellings where the household was absent on census night.

Dwelling characteristicMnemonic

Bathroom water heating (fuel or power used) BAT
Bathroom,sole or shared use of BTH
Bedrooms, number of BED
Building,number of units NUS
Buying/owning dwelling - see Nature of occupancy
Cooking (fuel or power used) CKG
Date built, private dwellingDAT
Dwelling type CDW
Fuel or power used for living room heating HET
Furnished/unfurnished - see Nature of occupancy
Kitchen, sole or shared use of KIT
Lighting, fuel or power used LIT
Material of outer wallsMAT
Mortgage, first monthly payment FST
Mortgage payments, total monthlyALL
Mortgage, number held MRT
Mortgage, other than first (monthly payment) SEC
Mortgage, source of first ONE
Mortgage, source of other than first OTH
Mortgage, yes or no - see Nature of occupancy
Motor vehicles, number ofVEH
Nature of occupancyNOC
Non-European dwelling identifierNED
Non-private dwelling type - see Dwelling type
Occupants of dwelling, number ofIMD
Reason unoccupied RUN
Rent, amount paidRNT
Rented, yes or no - see Nature of occupancy
Rooms in private dwellings, number ofTOT
Rural dwelling RUR
Sewerage disposal - method of SEW
Source of water supply WAT
Structure of dwelling (dwelling type)STR
Use of facilities (bathroom / kitchen)SKB

List of geographic area characteristics

Census data and tabulations are often cross-classified by geographic area. A list of the most commonly used geographic area characteristics with their mnemonics follows. These characteristics have been created during processing of Census data. For information on the full classifications for these characteristics, refer to Catalogue of 1976 Census Tables Final (2103.0), Information Paper No. 20 LGA Code List (2118.0) and the technical documentation accompanying each 1976 Census data release (see Section 3 for details of data releases).

The geographic area characteristics outlined below are discussed in more detail in Census 76 - Geographic, Division, District, Section, State (2103.0).

Geographic area characteristicMnemonic

Australian Electoral Division AED
Collection District CLD
Collection District - aggregated CDN
Local Government Area LGA
Local Government Area Section LGS
Section of State SCS
Statistical Division STD
Statistical Division / Statistical District SSD


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