Mnemonic: alternative_address_indicator
Applicability: Person
Type: Standard variable


An address (in or out of the UK) a person stays at for more than 30 days per year that is not their place of usual residence.

Second addresses typically include:

  • armed forces bases
  • addresses used by people working away from home
  • a student’s home address
  • the address of another parent or guardian
  • a partner’s address
  • a holiday home

If a person with a second address was staying there on census night, they were classed as a visitor to the second address but counted as a usual resident at their home address.


Total number of categories: 3

Code Name
1 No second address
2 Second address is in the UK
3 Second address is outside the UK

Quality information

The true number of people recording a second address as “armed forces base address” is likely to be higher than the estimate because of instructions given to armed forces personnel. Be aware of this when using these data.

Read more in our housing quality information for Census 2021 methodology.

Question asked

Do you stay at another address for more than 30 days a year?

  • No
  • Yes, write in other UK address below OR yes, outside the UK, write in country

The question and options that people could choose from were the same in Census 2021 and the 2011 Census.


Read about how we developed and tested the questions for Census 2021.

Why we ask the question

The answer helps us make sure that we count every property where people live. It will also help us understand changes to the number of people living in different areas.

Local authorities use this information to plan services and make policy. For example, where people stay during the working week may affect commuting patterns.

It also helps to explain any differences between the number of households counted in the census and other sources, such as the electoral roll.

The census first asked this question in 2011.

Comparability with the 2011 Census

Highly comparable

What does highly comparable mean?

A variable that is highly comparable means that it can be directly compared with the variable from the 2011 Census. The questions and options that people could choose from may be slightly different, for example the order of the options may be swapped around, but the data collected is the same.

England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland comparisons

Not comparable

This variable is not comparable as the data is not available for all countries.

What does not comparable mean?

A variable that is not comparable means that it cannot be compared for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Find out more about variables produced for Census 2021 in Northern Ireland and Census 2022 in Scotland.

Census 2021 data that uses this variable

We use variables from Census 2021 data to show findings in different ways.

You can:

Alternatively, you can also create a custom dataset.