Census of Population and Housing 1966: Collection District Master File

What is the CDMF?

Dimensions of data set

1966 Census publications

Record structure

Details of Classifications

Download an .rtf version of documents related to the CDMF

What is the CDMF?

The Collection District Master File (CDMF) holds a record for each collector's district (CD) in Australia with information which:
(a) allows the aggregation of CD data to higher level geographic areas without recourse to elaborate recoding procedures; and
(b) facilitates comparisons with previous census data.

Each CD record contains linkage to the 1961 Census field reference and includes basic counts for the 1961 Census, and 1966 Census field counts and final figures. Counts include the number of occupied and unoccupied dwellings, the number of males and females, and the number of male and female Aborigines.

Dimensions of data set

The CDMF contains 19,140 logical records (CDs). Each logical record on the Master File contains 47 variables on 2 physical records, each 78 characters in length.

1966 Census publications

The 1966 Census publication programme is made up of five individual Volumes, four consisting of a number of separate Parts, together with a series of supplementary statements in mimeographed form. The content of each Volume is briefly as follows:

Volume 1. Single characteristics of the population for Australia, Parts 1-11. - Age, marital status, birthplace, nationality, period of residence, education, religion, occupational status industry, occupation, and race.

Volume 2. Related characteristics of the population for Australia, Parts 1-5. - Growth and distribution of the population, demographic data, overseas-born population, the work force, and families and households.

Volume 3. Housing

Volume 4. Single characteristics of the population and dwellings in Local Government Areas, Parts 1-7. - New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania, and Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory.

Volume 5. Population and dwellings in localities, Parts 1-7. - States and Territories as for Volume 4, and Part 8. - Australia.


Record structure

Each logical record on the Master file contains 2 physical records, each 78 characters in length. The format and content of the records is given below. All counts are right justified.

Record 1:
Record 2:

Details of Classifications

1 = New South Wales
2 = Victoria
3 = Queensland
4 = South Australia
5 = Western Australia
6 = Tasmania
7 = Northern Territory
8 = Australian Capital Territory
0 = Metropolitan urban
1 = Other urban
2 = Rural
3 = Migratory (also identifiable as LGA = 800)

Statistical divisions are designed to be relatively homogeneous regions characterised by identifiable social and economic links between the inhabitants and between the economic units within the region, under the unifying influence of one or more major towns or cities. Capital city statistical divisions are predominantly urban in character and the boundaries are delineated to contain the anticipated urban development of the capital cities (and associated urban centres) for a period of at least twenty years.

Statistical divisions are represented by a two digit numeric code allocated sequentially within each State. The number of statistical divisions within each State are: NSW=14, Vic=10, Qld=14, SA=8, WA=10, Tas=9. The Northern Territory and ACT each comprise one statistical division. For further details reference: '1966 Census Code List of Local Government Areas in Statistical Divisions'


These are the major control areas used for the collection of census data.


Census subdivisions divide census divisions into field group leader workload areas, and contain an average of 10 CD's. They are designated by a capital letter A to Z allocated within census divisions in geographic sequence.


The CD is the smallest geographic unit used in the collection and dissemination of census data and which, in urban areas, has about 300 dwellings, and fewer in rural CD's.

The census division code, census subdivision letter and CD letter combine to provide a CD map reference.

The CD Serial Number (6 digits) runs from 1 to n in each State with CD's in LGA-CD code order except where new LGA codes have been inserted for the rural towns referred to above.

The value of n for each State and Territory is

N.S.W.	6967
VIC.	5036
QLD.	3051
S.A.	1777
W.A.	1392
TAS.	675

The CD number (3 digits) runs sequentially from 1 within an LGA to a maximum of 269 in the largest LGA.

Due to the need to add CD's with small numbers of dwellings to adjoining CD's to avoid publishing confidential data, not all serial numbers are present in the CD Summary File data file records.


These are the major tabulation units used in the publication of census results. While referred to as 'local government areas' they are, in fact, those sections of Local Government Areas for which separate details are published (see 1966 Census Volume 4). They differ from legally constituted LGA's in that some of the latter are situated in more than one statistical division or statistical area and most are subdivided into a number of urban and rural areas. Separate codes have now been given to rural towns with a population between 500 and 999, for which boundaries were determined prior to the census.

There is a three-digit numeric code assigned to LGA's ordered alphabetically within each Statistical Division, with the code 800 being attributed to 'migratory' CD's within each State. Names and associated codes are listed in numeric order in the '1966 Census Code List of Local Government Areas in Statistical Divisions'


This is the 1961 Census population estimate for the 1966 CD. Where a 1961 Census CD has been split, an estimate is made; otherwise the actual 1961 Census population is given.


Field counts are obtained from preliminary information processed by the ABS and released subject to revision.


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