Individuals and Travellers

Community Information Summaries - Explanatory notes

Scope of the 2011 Census

The data collected in the 2011 Census of Population and Housing by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) counted all persons who spent Census night, 9 August 2011, in Australia (with the exception of foreign diplomats and their families). People in the Australian Antarctic Territory, people of the Torres Strait Islands and people in the territories of Jervis Bay, Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Christmas Island are in scope. The other Australian external territories, Norfolk Island and minor islands such as Heard and McDonald Islands, were excluded from the Census.

Overseas visitors

The data in these summaries exclude overseas visitors.

Overseas visitors are people who are usually resident in another country. For the 2011 Census, overseas visitors were those who indicated they would be usually resident in Australia for less than a year.

Census counts

Compilation of data from the 2011 Census is based on two types of Census count:

Place of Enumeration

The Census count by place of enumeration is a count of all persons who spent Census night in Australia based on where the individual was counted, which may not be where the person usually resides.

Place of Usual Residence

This is a count of all people within the scope of the Census on the basis of where they usually reside, rather than where they were on Census night.

The data in these summaries are based on place of usual residence.

Statistics in these summaries

The data in these summaries are based on place of usual residence and exclude overseas visitors; and the ABS has made minor random adjustments (i.e. introduced random errors) to the Census data for purposes of confidentiality. As a result of these random adjustments, there may be minor discrepancies between figures in this publication and those published elsewhere. However, these differences will only be slight and can, for the most part, be ignored.

Symbols used

  • nfd - not further defined
  • nec - not elsewhere classified

2011 Census variables

Country of birth of individual

The Standard Australian Classification of Countries (SACC), Second Edition, Revision 1 was used to classify the responses to the Census questions on country of birth of individual.


The question asked on ancestry in the 2011 Census was: What is the person's ancestry? Respondents were asked to consider the origins of their parents and grandparents when answering this question providing up to two ancestries.

Because Ancestry is a multi-response question in the Census, responses were coded into two variables - ANC1P (first response) and ANC2P (second response). Depending on the number of responses given, some people are recorded with one ancestry while others have two. This means that the number of responses for a particular ancestry for a geographic area may be greater than the number of people in that area. There is no ranking of responses, so if a respondent reports two ancestries, both answers have equal standing.

The Australian Standard Classification of Cultural and Ethnic Groups (ASCCEG) Second Edition, Revision 1 was used to classify Ancestry.


Language Spoken at Home

The question asked in the 2011 Census was: ‘Does the person speak a language other than English at home?’ The Australian Standard Classification of Languages (ASCL) Second Edition, Revision 1 was used to classify the responses to the Census questions on language spoken at home by individuals.

Proficiency in Spoken English

Persons who indicated that they spoke a language at home other than English were asked to rate their level of proficiency in spoken English. Responses by individuals to the question on proficiency in English are subjective and as such, the variable is an indicator of a person's ability to speak English and not a definitive measure of his/her ability.


The question on religious affiliation in the 2011 Census, as in all previous Censuses, was optional.

The Australian Standard Classification of Religious Groups (ASCRG), Second Edition, Revision 1 was used to classify the response to the Census question on religious affiliation of individuals.


This variable records the year of first arrival in Australia for people born overseas who intend to stay in Australia for at least one year.

The year 2011 is represented by this variable, includes only the period from 1 January 2011 to 9 August 2011 – the Census date.

This variable is recorded as 'Not applicable' for those born in Australia.

Median income

Median income is the level of income which divides the number of people in a group into two equal parts, one half having incomes above the median and the other half having incomes below the median.

These summaries provide the median weekly income for each community. This is based on the gross income that a person usually receives each week, including pensions and allowances. This is only applicable to persons aged 15 years and over.


This describes the level of a person's highest completed non-school qualification.

Non-school qualification is coded using the Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED). This is only applicable to persons aged 15 years and over.


Labour force participation

These summaries provide labour force participation rates derived from labour force status data.

This variable records a person's labour force status (employed, unemployed looking for work or not in the labour force) for the week prior to Census Night.


The occupation code assigned is based on the response given for the questions ‘In the main job held last week, what was the person's main occupation?’ and ‘What are the main tasks that the person usually performs in the occupation?’

Occupation is coded using the new Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO), First Edition, Revision 1.