Dictionary, Census of Population, 2016
Persons per room

Release date: May 3, 2017


'Persons per room' refers to an indicator of the level of crowding in a private dwelling. It is calculated by dividing the number of persons in the household by the number of rooms in the dwelling.

Statistical unit(s)

Private household


Number of persons per room

Reported in

2016 (25% sample); 2011Note 1 (30% sample); 2006, 2001, 1996, 1991, 1986 and 1981 (20% sample). For availability prior to 1981, refer to Appendix 2.0.

Reported for

Private households

Question number(s)

Derived variable: Question F4a)


In the standard products, the most detailed classification is as follows:

One person or fewer per room
More than 1 person per room
More than 1 but less than 1.50
1.50 persons or more


'Persons per room' is a measure of crowding that considers all rooms in a private dwelling and the number of household members. A higher value of 'persons per room' indicates a higher level of crowding.

An alternative measure is the housing suitability, according to the National Occupancy Standard (NOS), which assesses the required number of bedrooms for a household based on the age, sex, and relationships among household members.


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