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Household definitions

Access to telecommunication systems

Access to telecommunication systems measures whether a household has access to: a cellphone/mobile phone (that is in the dwelling all or most of the time); a telephone; a fax and/or the Internet, to communicate with people outside the dwelling and to use services provided through these media. This requires the device to be in working order and for there to be a working connection.

Family trust

A ‘trust’ is established by a legal agreement describing how assets are going to be managed and distributed. Property can legally be transferred into the trust and become owned by the trust. A ‘family trust’ is usually for a specific family.

Grouped total household income

The standard 15-category total household income classification cannot be used for outputting data about small geographic areas (meshblocks, area units or user-defined combinations of these) in the 2006 Census. Instead, grouped income categories must be used for these areas. The grouped total household income classification is:

  • $20,000 or less
  • $20,001–$30,000
  • $30,001–$50,000
  • $50,001–$70,000
  • $70,001–$100,000
  • $100,001 or more
  • not stated.

Refer also to 'total household income', 'total personal income' and 'sources of personal income'.


A household is either one person who usually resides alone, or two or more people who usually reside together and share facilities (such as eating facilities, cooking facilities, bathroom and toilet facilities, and a living area), in a private dwelling.

People who usually live in a particular dwelling, and are members of a household in that dwelling, but who were absent on census night, are included, as long as they were reported as being absent by the reference person on the dwelling form.

Refer also to 'absentee', 'usual resident', 'usual residents in private dwellings' and 'household composition'.

Household characteristics

A general term referring to the nature of a household including: number of household members; household composition; number of children in the household by age; and total and grouped total household income.

Refer also to 'household composition'.

Household composition

Household composition is a derived variable that classifies households according to the relationships between usually resident people. Households are classified according to the presence, number and type of family nuclei and the presence of related and unrelated people.

Refer also to 'absentee', 'usual resident', 'usual residents in private dwellings', 'family nucleus', 'familial relationship', 'non-familial relationship', 'related' and 'unrelated'.

Number of motor vehicles

Number of motor vehicles is the number of motor vehicles that are mechanically operational, but not necessarily licensed or having a current warrant of fitness, and are available for private use by the usual residents of private dwellings.

Motor vehicles include:

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

They do not include:

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

Sector of landlord

Sector of landlord is the institutional unit to which the owners of rented or leased private dwellings belong. Landlord refers to the type of organisation or person from whom households rent or lease private occupied dwellings.

Sources of household income

This variable identifies the various sources from which a household received their total household income in the 12 months ending 31 March 2006.

In the census, it is generally only realistic to collect money income. This is income that the individual respondent can normally recall or can readily retrieve from their financial records. Money income is money flow from the deployment of one's labour, entrepreneurial skills and assets, and transfers received. The concept of money income therefore relies on identifying the sources from which money income is derived.

Excluded is income in kind, imputed income, unrealised income and contingent income. Contingent income is that which depends on the unknown outcome of a course of action, for example to sue. Moneys received by borrowing, making withdrawals from savings and receiving repayments of loan principal are excluded. Tax credits and reimbursements of expenses are also excluded.

Tenure of household

Tenure of household refers to the nature of the occupancy of a household in a private dwelling, at the time of the survey. Tenure of household seeks to determine if the household owns the dwelling, holds it in a family trust or does not own the dwelling, and whether payment is made by the household. It does not refer to the tenure of the land on which the dwelling is situated.

Refer also to 'tenure holder'.

Total household income

Total household income is derived by aggregating the total personal income of all members of the household.

Refer also to 'total personal income' and 'sources of personal income'.

Weekly rent paid by households

Weekly rent paid by households is the total weekly monetary amount spent by the household on obtaining shelter in a private dwelling.

Ideally, the weekly rent paid should exclude payments for the use of furniture and utilities such as electricity, gas and water and for the provision of special services like washing or cooking.

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