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Usual residence


'Usual residence' is the meshblock of the dwelling where a person considers himself or herself to usually reside. Usual residence is self-defined.

Relationship to questionnaire(s)

Data on usual residence comes from question 5 on the individual form (PDF 395kb).

Subject population

The subject population is the people, families, households or dwellings to whom the variable applies.

The subject population for this variable is the census night population, as this question applies to all people in New Zealand on census night. However, data on usual residence is output for the census usually resident population.

Non-response rate

There is no non-response category for usual residence, as a response is imputed if the question was not answered or could not be coded to meshblock level. This includes situations in which an entire individual form for a person within a household was not answered, and situations in which an entire household did not respond.

In 2006, usual residence was imputed for 0.5 percent of the usually resident population.

In 2001, usual residence was imputed for 0.7 percent of the usually resident population.

Quality Management Strategy priority level

Usual residence is a foremost variable.

The Census Quality Management Strategy assigns a priority level to all census variables.

Foremost variables are core census variables that have the highest priority in terms of quality, time and resources across all phases of the 2006 Census.

All data must meet minimum quality standards in order to make it suitable for use.

Comparability with 1996 and 2001 Census data

There are issues affecting the comparability of this data with 1996 and 2001 Census data:

  • Guide notes instruct tertiary students to put their term-time address as their usual address. In 2001 a significant number of tertiary students reported a usual address that differed from their census night address. This affected the counts of usual residents for some geographic areas in 2001.
  • An instruction was added to the question in 2006 directing students and overseas residents to the help notes for more information on how to answer.

Significant issues

There are no significant issues that users should be aware of.

Other things to be aware of

  • All census data was subject to considerable checks (including edits) during processing and evaluation, to ensure that it meets quality standards and is suitable for use. These checks were applied to data supplied both on paper and on Internet forms. In addition to these quality checks, the Internet form had built-in editing functionality that directed respondents to the appropriate questions and ensured that their responses were valid. As a result of this, data from Internet forms may be of higher overall quality than data from paper forms. The significance of this will depend on the particular type of analysis being done.
  • There were differences between how the forms were completed on the Internet and on paper for this variable:
    • On the Internet, the usual residence question had two parts. For the first part of the question, the Internet form allowed only one response indicating that the respondent usually lived 'in New Zealand' or 'not in New Zealand'. If the respondent answered 'not in New Zealand', the routing for overseas visitors was activated and the questions that did not apply to overseas visitors either disappeared or were greyed out, so the respondent could not answer them unless they changed their response to the usual residence question. The second part of the usual residence question on the Internet form was a text box for respondents to key in their address. The paper form consisted of just one question on usual residence that asked for the respondent's address.
    • On the Internet, the usual residence question had to be completed in order for the respondent to submit the form. Non-response to this question was possible when forms were filled in on paper.
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