Notes on the data: Housing/Transport

Housing Suitability - dwellings requiring extra bedrooms, 2016


Policy context: This variable, which is new in the 2016 Census of Population and Housing, can be used to identify if a dwelling is either under or over utilised. The indicator published is of the number of dwellings requiring extra bedrooms, taking into account a series of household demographics, such as the number of usual residents, their relationship to each other, age and sex [1].

At the 2016 Census of Population and Housing, 3.7% of dwellings were assessed as requiring extra bedrooms. The proportion of dwellings varies widely around this measure, with proportions of over 50% in parts of the Northern Territory.


  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics, Housing suitability (HOSD), Canberra: ABS; 2017, accessed 11 August 2017. Available from:

Notes: The criteria used to derive the variable are based on the Canadian National Occupancy Standard for housing appropriateness and are sensitive to both household size and composition. The measure assesses the bedroom requirements of a household by specifying that:

  • there should be no more than two persons per bedroom
  • children less than five years of age of different sexes may reasonably share a bedroom
  • children less than 18 years of age and of the same sex may reasonably share a bedroom
  • single household members 18 years and over should have a separate bedroom, as should parents or couples and
  • a lone person household may reasonably occupy a bed-sitter.

Private dwelling: A private dwelling can be a house, flat or even a room. It can also be a caravan, houseboat, tent, or a house attached to an office, or rooms above a shop.

The numerator excludes the 6.0% of dwellings for which the indicator could not be calculated, or was not stated: however, these records are included in the denominator.

Geography: Data available by Population Health Area, Local Government Area, Primary Health Network, Quintile of socioeconomic disadvantage of area and Remoteness Area

Numerator: Private dwellings requiring extra bedrooms

Denominator: All occupied private dwellings

Detail of analysis: Percent

Source: Compiled by PHIDU based on the ABS Census of Population and Housing, August 2016

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