Elsewhere in Australia: a snapshot of temporary mobility on the night of the 2016 Census

  • Elin Charles-Edwards
  • Radoslaw Panczak


Background  Temporary population mobility, moves of more than one night’s duration that do not entail a change in usual residence, are an important feature of the Australian population surface. The ABS Census of Population and Housing (Census) provides a snapshot of temporary movements one night every five years.
Aims  This paper examines the intensity, age and spatial patterns of temporary movements captured at the 2016 Census, and creates a classification of regions based on the age profile of movers on Census nights.
Data and methods  2016 Census data were extracted using ABS TableBuilder Pro. Summary metrics were calculated to measure the intensity and age profile of movements. Origin–destination flows were derived from a cross-classification of data on Place of Usual Residence and Place of Enumeration. A classification of regions (SA4s) was constructed from the age profile of movers at origins and at destinations.
Results  1,142,005 individuals (about 5 per cent of the Australian population) were enumerated away from home on Census night 2016. Mobility peaked in younger (20–30) and older (65–70) age groups. Most movements were between capital city regions; however, resource regions and coastal areas were also implicated. The mobility surface was segmented by age: younger people dominated visits to cities and older movers comprise the majority of visitors to coastal areas, while remote areas had a significant proportion of visitors in the peak working ages.
Conclusions  Temporary population mobility is selective by age and sex and geographically segmented by these characteristics. Improved understanding of the attribute of visitors to regions can assist to formulate and validate estimates of temporary populations from emerging data sets.


Download data is not yet available.
How to Cite
CHARLES-EDWARDS, Elin; PANCZAK, Radoslaw. Elsewhere in Australia: a snapshot of temporary mobility on the night of the 2016 Census. Australian Population Studies, [S.l.], v. 2, n. 1, p. 14-25, may 2018. ISSN 2208-8482. Available at: <http://www.australianpopulationstudies.org/index.php/aps/article/view/22>. Date accessed: 26 june 2018.
Research Papers