Family Facts and Figures: Australian families

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Statistical information provided in charts and data tables on Australian families

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Family type, 2011

Family type 2011. Data shown in table below.

According to the 2011 Census, there were 5,584,000 families in Australia. Most of these families represented couples without children (37.8%) and couples with dependent children (36.7%). One-parent families with dependent children accounted for 10.6% of all families. The remainder were couples with non-dependent children only (representing 7.9% of all families), one-parent families with non-dependent children only (representing 5.3% of all families), and "other families" (1.7%).

Data table - Family type, 2011
Family type No. families %
Couple with dependent children 2,086,269 36.7
Couple with non-dependent children only 448,133 7.9
Couple only 2,150,299 37.8
One parent family with dependent children 600,892 10.6
One parent family with non-dependent children only 300,748 5.3
Other families 97,721 1.7
Total 5,684,062 100.0

Source: The 2011 Census.

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Family type, 1976-2011

Family type 1976-2011. Data shown in table below.

From 1976 to 2011:

Data table - Family type 1976-2011
Family type 1976 1986 1996 2006 2011
One parent family with dependent children 6.5 7.8 9.9 10.7 10.6
Couple only 28.0 30.3 34.1 37.2 37.8
Couple with dependent children 48.4 44.8 40.6 37.0 36.7
Couple with non-dependent children 11.1 10.9 9.0 8.3 7.9
Other families 5.9 6.2 6.4 6.8 7.0
Other families 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0

Sources: Hugo, G. (2001). A century of population change in Australia (ABS - Yearbook 2001 Australia (Catalogue. no. 1301.0)); ABS 2006 and 2011 Censuses

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Families with children 0-17 years, 2009-10

Families with children aged 0-17 years: Family type 2003. Data shown in table below.

In 2009-10, there were 2,656,000 families with children under 18 years.  The majority of these families were intact families. Step and blended families accounted for less than 8%. Nearly one in five families was headed by only one parent.  One-parent families were typically headed by single mothers.

Data table - Families with children 0-17 years, 2009-10
Family type No. families ('000) %
Intact families 1933 72.8
Step families 99 3.7
Blended families 91 3.4
Sole mother families 441 16.6
Sole father families 77 2.9
Other families 15 0.6
Total 2656 100.0

Source: ABS(2011) Family Characteristics Australia June 2009-10 (Catalogue no. 4442.0).

Definitions

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Family type projection 2006-2031

According to ABS "Series II" projections:

Projected family type, 2006-2031. Data shown in table below.

ABS released household and family projection (2006-2031) in 2010. There are three projection series with different assumptions: a) living arrangement propensities for 2006 continues to 2031; b) low rate of change in living arrangement propensities; c) the linear trend in the rate of change in propensities from 1991 to 2006 continues to 2031 (for details see ABS (2010) Household and family projects, Australia, 2006 to 2031).  The figure is based on the assumptions of low rate of change in propensities ( Series B projections):

Data table - Projected family type, 2006-2031
Family type 2006 2011 2016 2021 2026 2031
Number
Couple families with children 2,576,014 2,572,756 2,643,139 2,756,904 2,912,481 3,057,899
Couple families without children 2,134,939 2,467,661 2,786,729 3,078,999 3,320,057 3,532,154
One-parent families, total 920,914 1,046,392 1,149,250 1,243,037 1,326,912 1,412,643
One-parent families, male parent 154,780 175,202 192,360 208,116 222,680 237,969
One-parent families, female parent 766,134 871,190 956,890 1,034,921 1,104,232 1,174,674
Other families 103,184 106,354 112,591 117,291 122,025 127,880
Total 5,735,051 6,193,163 6,691,709 7,196,231 7,681,475 8,130,576
Per cent (%)
Couple families with children 44.9 41.5 39.5 38.3 37.9 37.6
Couple families without children 37.2 39.8 41.6 42.8 43.2 43.4
One-parent families, total 16.1 16.9 17.2 17.3 17.3 17.4
One-parent families, male parent 2.7 2.8 2.9 2.9 2.9 2.9
One-parent families, female parent 13.4 14.1 14.3 14.4 14.4 14.4
Other families 1.8 1.7 1.7 1.6 1.6 1.6
Total 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0

Note: The percentages are based on the Series B projections. ABS Series B projections are based on the assumption of low rate of change in propensities - the linear trend in propensities from 1991 to 2006  continues at the full rate of change to 2011, half the rate change to 2016, one-quarter the rate of change to 2021, and then remains constant to 2031.
Sources: ABS (2010) Household and family projects, Australia, 2006 to 2031 (Catalogue no. 3236.0)

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