A 'room' is defined as a space in a dwelling that is used, or intended to be used, for habitation and is enclosed by walls reaching from the floor to the ceiling or roof covering. Service areas are excluded. While the following rules apply, operationally, the number of rooms is determined by the respondent who completes the dwelling form on census night.
The total number of rooms includes habitable spaces, such as bedrooms, kitchens, dining rooms, living rooms, lounge rooms, studies, games rooms, studios, hobby rooms, habitable cellars and attics. However, service areas, such as pantries, hallways, spa rooms, walk-in wardrobes, corridors, verandahs, garages, laundries, toilets and bathrooms should not be counted as rooms.
If a dwelling is built in an open-plan style, then room equivalents should be counted as if they had walls between them.
Room equivalents should not be counted for one-roomed dwellings (ie bed-sit rooms). A one-roomed dwelling should be counted as having one room only.
A 'bedroom' is defined as a room in a dwelling that is used, or intended to be used, for sleeping in. While the following rules apply, operationally, the number of bedrooms is determined by the respondent who completes the dwelling form on census night:
- A room is considered to be a bedroom if it is furnished as a bedroom, even if it is not being used at the time of the census. A room furnished as a bedroom should include a sleeping facility, such as a bed or mattress, and could include items such as a dresser or chest of drawers.
- Room equivalents should not be counted for one-roomed dwellings (ie bed-sit rooms). A one-roomed dwelling should be counted as having one bedroom and therefore one total room.
- A sleepout adjacent to a private dwelling should be counted as a bedroom if it is used and/or furnished as a bedroom and is occupied by members of the same household as those occupying the dwelling.
- A caravan adjacent to a private dwelling should be counted as a bedroom only if it is used as a bedroom and is occupied by members of the same household as those occupying the dwelling.
- A room (such as a living room) that is used as a bedroom at night, either short term or long term, should not be counted as a bedroom unless the only bedroom facilities in the dwelling are in that room. If the only bedroom facilities in a dwelling are in a room that is also used for another purpose (ie in a living room), this room should be counted as a bedroom.
Relationship to questionnaire(s)
Data on number of rooms comes from question 15 on the dwelling form (PDF 783kb).
Data on number of bedrooms comes from question 14 on the dwelling form (PDF 783kb).
The subject population is the people, families, households or dwellings to whom the variable applies.
The subject population for the variables number of rooms and number of bedrooms is private occupied dwellings.
The 2006 non-response rate for number of rooms is 5.1 percent.
The 2006 non-response rate for number of bedrooms is 4.4 percent.
The 2001 non-response rate was 4.3 percent for number of rooms and 4.2 percent for number of bedrooms.
Quality Management Strategy priority level
The two variables number of rooms and number of bedrooms are supplementary variables.
The Census Quality Management Strategy assigns a priority level to all census variables.
Supplementary variables do not fit directly in with the main purpose of a census, but are still of importance to certain groups. These variables have third priority in terms of effort and resources.
All data must meet minimum quality standards in order to make it suitable for use.
Comparability with 1996 and 2001 Census data
There are no issues affecting the comparability of this data with the 1996 and 2001 Census data.
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, non-numeric answers, negative numbers or responses greater than 99 were not possible. On the paper form, it was possible for a respondent to give a non-numeric answer, a negative number or a number greater than 99, even though the space provided only allowed for a one- or two-digit answer.