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Reason for placeholder

  • Mnemonic reference


  • Applicability

    Household and communal

  • Type

    Primary variable


A placeholder form was completed during the field operation for each valid household or communal establishment that did not return a census questionnaire. The reasons for placeholder form completion include: non-residential property;  refusal of resident to complete a questionnaire; an absent


Total number of categories 16

Code Name
1 Internet completion
2 Non-residential
3 Derelict
4 Demolished
5 Address not applicable
6 Household refusal
7 Household Non-return
8 Household Absent
9 Household New build but not yet occupied
10 Household holiday accommodation or second residence
11 Household vacant dwelling
12 Communal establishment refusal
13 Communal establishment non-return
14 Communal establishment absent
15 Communal establishment vacant
X No code required - comprises all households and communal establishments that have completed a census return

Reason for asking

This information is used to distinguish between occupied and unoccupied households for use during coverage assessment and adjustment. For addresses where a completed census questionnaire was returned at a later date, the placeholder form was deleted.

Scotland (2001) comparison

In 2001, household spaces which were identified by the enumerator as absents, refusals or non-returns but which did not subsequently have a household imputed by the adjustment process were classified as vacant in output. This is different from the approach taken in 2011, when they were classified as second/holiday homes. This is because, as part of the quality assurance process, these counts were compared with council tax returns, and this suggested that second/holiday homes was a more appropriate category for refusals. The guidance given to enumerators also suggested that these households spaces were unlikely to be vacant.