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How do .id define dwelling types?

How .id defines different dwelling types on our community profiles

Source: See 'Explanatory notes' on profile.id.

Derived from the Census:

'Dwelling Structure is derived from the ABS address register supplemented with information from Census Field Officers.'

Categorises the type and structure of dwellings.

Includes all private dwellings.

The categories used by the ABS are subject to systematic misinterpretation by Census collectors, particularly in determining the difference between semi-detached/townhouses and blocks of flats in 1-2 storey blocks. For this reason, to maintain consistency over time, the categories used here combine these two categories as 'medium density'. This creates a better measure of actual change over time in an area. We have applied the term 'density' here to the structure of the dwelling and not the number of dwellings per hectare.

In addition, in 2016, with the move to the Address Register as the uniform source for this information, there is a significant change between 2011 and 2016 in the numbers of dwellings in some of the categories. Nationally, there was a fall of approximately 128,000 dwellings recorded as “Flat Unit or Apartment in a 1 or 2 storey block”, and a corresponding increase in the Semi-Detached categories. Because .id combines these categories in “Medium Density”, there is relatively little change expected in the output on profile.id.

'Separate house'

Includes all free-standing dwellings separated from neighbouring dwellings by a gap of at least half a metre.

'Medium density'

Includes all semi-detached, row, terrace, townhouses and villa units, plus flats and apartments in blocks of 1 or 2 storeys, and flats attached to houses.

'High density'

Includes flats and apartments in 3 storey and larger blocks.

'Caravans, cabins, houseboats' includes all such mobile accommodation, both inside and outside caravan parks (including caravans in private backyards.

'Other' includes houses and flats attached to shops or offices, and improvised homes, tents and sleepers out on Census night.

'Unoccupied dwellings' are shown in a separate table. An unoccupied dwelling is a dwelling where the Census Collector determined that it was vacant on Census night. Where a collector cannot determine this, the dwelling is usually treated as occupied. Dwellings may be unoccupied for a variety of reasons including:

  • Residents away temporarily.
  • Dwelling vacant or for sale.
  • Dwelling derelict.
  • Dwelling used as a holiday home and currently not being used.

'Non-private dwellings' are dwellings which provide a communal form of accommodation such as Hotels, Motels, Nursing Homes, Hospitals, Army Barracks, Staff Quarters, Boarding Houses, Homeless shelters, Youth hostels and Ski Lodges.

For more information on this topic, please see the ABS data quality statements on Dwelling Structure and Dwelling Type.