ABS census preview says mortgaged three bedroom home is the Australian norm

Prateek ChatterjeeApril 10, 20170 min read

A mortgaged three bedroom home is the Australian norm, according to a preview of the 2016 census released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

In 2016, the ‘typical’ Australian home is owned with a mortgage as opposed to outright ownership in 2006. But this varies across the country, according to the preview of the 2016 Census of Population and Housing that highlights the key characteristics that make the ‘typical’ Australian in 2016 and highlighting the country’s diversity.

The first Census data release is scheduled for June 27, 2017. This will include datasets for all national, state/territory and capital cities, along with datasets for small population groups and small geographic areas such as suburbs and local government areas.

The Australian home varies from state to state, says the ABS. For example, the ‘typical’ home in Tasmania and New South Wales is owned outright, while the ‘typical’ Northern Territory home is rented. In 2006, the ‘typical’ Australian home was owned outright.

The 2016 Census says the ‘typical’ Australian is a 38-year-old female who was born in Australia, and is of English ancestry. She is married and lives in a couple family with two children and has completed Year 12. She lives in a house with three bedrooms and two motor vehicles.

The age of the ‘typical’ Australian varies across the states and territories. 

The ‘typical’ Australian male is 37 years old.

In 2016, the ‘typical’ migrant in Australia was born in England and is 44 years old; a decade ago they were aged 46. There are however some differences between the states – the ‘typical’ migrant in Queensland was born in New Zealand, while in Victoria the ‘typical’ migrant was born in India. The ‘typical’ migrant in New South Wales was born in China.

The June release will follow the completion of the ABS’ usual data quality assurance process and the Census Independent Assurance Panel’s quality assurance work.

The Census process, conducted on the night of August 9, headlined the news soon after after the ABS website was hit with cyber attacks forcing a shut down for two days. 

The ABS will release data regarding employment, qualifications and population mobility from October 17,  2017. 

The lists below show when data related to each Census topic will be released, ABS said in the release. Each topic will have a number of data items associated with it.

JUNE 2017



Residential status in non-private dwelling

Registered marital status

Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin

Usual residence at Census time

Australian citizenship

Country of birth

Year of arrival in Australia

Country of birth of parents

Main language other than English spoken at home

Proficiency in spoken English


Religious Affiliation

Need for assistance

Attendance at an educational institution

Highest year of schooling completed

Number of children ever born


Unpaid work

Address on Census night

Family relationship (and Social marital status)

Number of motor vehicles garaged

Number of bedrooms

Tenure type

Landlord type

Housing costs

Dwelling internet connection

Dwelling structure

Location of private dwelling 

Type of non-private dwelling



Internal migration (address of usual residence 1 year ago and 5 years ago)

Non-school qualification

Labour force status

Status in employment


Public or private employer indicator

Workplace address (Journey to work)

Industry of employment

Hours worked

Method of travel to work

Prateek Chatterjee

Mortgage Rates
Home Owners
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