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This topic has been updated with 2016 Census data for all areas. What's this?

In Australia, 62% of households were purchasing or fully owned their home, 24.9% were renting privately, and 4.0% were in social housing in 2016.

Australia's Housing Tenure data provides insights into its socio-economic status as well as the role it plays in the housing market. For example, a high concentration of private renters may indicate a transient area attractive to young singles and couples, while a concentration of home owners indicates a more settled area with mature families and empty-nesters (Household Summary). Tenure can also reflect built form (Dwelling Type), with a significantly higher share of renters in high density housing and a substantially larger proportion of home-owners in separate houses, although this is not always the case.

In conjunction with other socio-economic status indicators in Australia, Tenure data is useful for analysing housing markets, housing affordability and identifying public housing areas.

Derived from the Census questions:

'Is this dwelling (owned outright, owned with a mortgage etc.)', and 'If this dwelling is being rented, who is it rented from?'


Housing tenure
Australia - Households (Enumerated)20162011Change
Tenure typeNumber%Greater Capital Cities %Number%Greater Capital Cities %2011 to 2016
Fully owned2,618,93029.627.72,539,25931.029.4+79,671
Renting - Social housing354,4514.03.8369,5044.54.3-15,053
Renting - Private2,205,15424.925.91,926,16623.524.0+278,988
Renting - Not stated47,0380.50.453,2310.70.5-6,193
Other tenure type83,6670.90.974,8170.90.9+8,850
Not stated680,9767.77.1495,2166.16.0+185,760

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing 2011 and 2016. Compiled and presented by .id , the population experts.

Housing tenure, 2016
Housing tenure, 2016 Other tenure type, Greater Capital Cities: 0.9% Renting - Private, Greater Capital Cities: 25.9% Renting - Social housing, Greater Capital Cities: 3.8% Renting, Greater Capital Cities: 30.2% Mortgage, Greater Capital Cities: 34.1% Fully owned, Greater Capital Cities: 27.7% Other tenure type, Australia: 0.9% Renting - Private, Australia: 24.9% Renting - Social housing, Australia: 4.0% Renting, Australia: 29.4% Mortgage, Australia: 32.4% Fully owned, Australia: 29.6%
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing, 2016 (Enumerated data)
Compiled and presented in by .id, the population experts.
Change in housing tenure, 2011 to 2016
Change in housing tenure, 2011 to 2016 Other tenure type, Australia: +8,850 Renting - Private, Australia: +278,988 Renting - Social housing, Australia: -15,053 Renting, Australia: +257,742 Mortgage, Australia: +147,855 Fully owned, Australia: +79,671
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing, 2011 and 2016 (Enumerated data)
Compiled and presented in by .id, the population experts.

Dominant groups

Analysis of the housing tenure of the population of Australia in 2016 compared to Greater Capital Cities shows that there was a larger proportion of households who owned their dwelling; a smaller proportion purchasing their dwelling; and a smaller proportion who were renters.

Overall, 29.6% of the population owned their dwelling; 32.4% were purchasing, and 29.4% were renting, compared with 27.7%, 34.1% and 30.2% respectively for Greater Capital Cities.

Emerging groups

The largest changes in housing tenure categories for the households in Australia between 2011 and 2016 were:

  • Renting - Private (+278,988 persons)
  • Mortgage (+147,855 persons)
  • Fully owned (+79,671 persons)
  • Renting - Social housing (-15,053 persons)

The total number of households in Australia increased by 679,878 between 2011 and 2016.