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Definitions and information about the data


Access to telecommunications systems: the ability of residents in a private dwelling to communicate, through cellphone, telephone, fax, or the Internet, with people outside the dwelling and to use services provided through these media. The device(s) and connection(s) must be in working order.

Employed: a person was employed if they were part of the working-age population (15 years and over) and if, during the week ended 4 March 2001, 5 March 2006, or 3 March 2013, they:

  • worked for one hour or more for pay or profit in the context of an employee/employer relationship or self-employment, or
  • worked without pay for one hour or more in work that contributed directly to the operation of a farm, business, or professional practice owned or operated by a relative, or
  • had a job but were not at work due to:
    o their illness or injury
    o personal or family responsibilities
    o bad weather or mechanical breakdown
    o direct involvement in an industrial dispute
    o being on leave or holiday.

Household: either one person who usually resides alone, or two or more people who usually reside together and share facilities (such as for eating, cooking, or a living area; and bathroom and toilet) in a private dwelling. Included are people who were absent on census night but usually live in a particular dwelling and are members of that household, as long as they were reported as being absent by the reference person on the dwelling form.

Household composition: classifies households according to the relationships between usually resident people. The classification is based on how many and what type(s) of family nuclei were present in a household, and whether or not there were related or unrelated people present.

Main means of travel to work: the method a person aged 15 years and over used to travel the longest distance to their place of employment on census day (for example, by bicycle, bus, walking, or jogging).

Number of motor vehicles: refers to motor vehicles that are available for private use by the usual residents of private dwellings. These vehicles must be mechanically operational, but not necessarily licensed or with a current warrant of fitness.

Motor vehicles include:

  • business vehicles available for private use by people in the dwelling
  • cars, four-wheel drive vehicles, station wagons, trucks, vans, and other vehicles used on public roads
  • hired or long-term leased vehicles
  • vehicles temporarily under repair.

They do not include:

  • farm vehicles not licensed for road use
  • motorbikes or scooters
  • vehicles used only for business
  • vehicles that belong to visitors
  • vehicles occasionally borrowed from another household.

Tenure of household: indicates whether a household in a private dwelling rents, owns, or holds that dwelling in a family trust; and whether payment is made by the household for the right to reside in that dwelling.

Tenure of household does not refer to the tenure of the land on which the dwelling is situated. A dwelling held in a family trust is owned by the family trust, so the household does not directly own the dwelling.

Total household income: derived by taking the sum of the median personal income of all members of the household who are aged 15 years and over. Total personal income received is the before-tax income of a person in the 12 months ended 31 March 2013. The information is collected as income bands rather than in actual dollars.

Information about the data

Comparability with past censuses

Because the 2011 Census was cancelled after the Canterbury earthquake on 22 February 2011, the gap between the 2013 Census and the last one is seven years. The change in the data between 2006 and 2013 may be greater than in the usual five-year gap between censuses. Be careful when comparing trends.

In some sections of this report, we compare 2013 Census data with 2006, 2001, and 1996 Census data. In other sections, we compare it with 2006 or 2001 data only. The choice of which data to use for comparisons depended on the availability of data and the rate of change over time.

Calculation of percentages

Unless otherwise stated, all percentages and ratios in this report exclude responses that cannot be classified (eg 'not stated', 'household composition unidentifiable').


The data in this report has been randomly rounded to protect confidentiality. Individual figures may not add up to totals, and values for the same data may vary in different tables.

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