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Related classifications and standards

New Zealand

Usual residence and census night addresses are used to derive the usual residence indicator, which describes the relationship between a respondent’s usual residence and their census night address.

Usual residence is linked to the standard geographic classifications used by Statistics New Zealand. Any changes to Statistics New Zealand’s smallest spatial unit may affect usual residence. Usual residence is also linked to the classification for country.

Any changes to the definition of usual residence may affect the following standards:


The definition for usual residence in this standard is comparable with the United Nations' recommended definition. The United Nations however, refer to “place of usual residence” and define it as:

“...the geographical place where the enumerated person usually resides. This may be the same as, or different from, the place where he or she was present at the time of the census or his or her legal residence.”

The United Nations also identifies problems where people may appear to have more than one usual residence. Suggested difficulties that may be encountered are:

  • people who maintain more than one residence
  • students living at school
  • members of the armed forces living at a military installation and maintaining private living quarters away from the installation
  • people who sleep away from their homes during the working week but who return home for several days at the end of each week
  • people who have been residing at the place where they are enumerated for some time but do not consider themselves to be residents of that place because they intend to return to their previous place of residence at some time in the future
  • people who have left the country temporarily but are expected to return after some time.

The United Nations recommends that the treatment of these special cases should be clearly set forth in the census instructions, and that clearly stated time limits of presence in, or absence from, a particular place must be set.

The Office of National Statistics (UK) and Australian Bureau of Statistics have begun extensive research and testing of the concept of secondary residence. Statistics New Zealand is also currently researching this concept which, if implemented, would affect the standard for usual residence and its related standards.

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