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Families in Australia (Survey of)
 
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    Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)

    OVERVIEW

    The 1992 Survey of Families in Australia (Family Survey) was not a regular ABS collection. It obtains information on the characteristics of families and family members, and the nature of family support received and provided. The survey provides some unique data on family formation, family care giving, work and family issues, and a variety of other support aspects.

    PURPOSE

    The survey was designed to assist understanding of contemporary social and family issues, reflecting International Year of the Family (IYF) objectives. It responds to particular interests in data relating to the needs of families, family responsibilities, and their ability to cope in the face of changing and often limited resources.

    SCOPE

    Scope

    The Family Survey covered urban and rural areas and included residences of private and selected special dwellings. The special dwellings included were:

    • hostels for the homeless, night shelters and refuges;
    • licensed hotels and motels;
    • religious and educational institutions (convents, monasteries, college and university residences);
    • boarding houses and others (guest houses, private hotels, hostels, staff quarters, large construction camps);
    • Aboriginal settlements;
    • caravan parks and camping grounds.

    All persons with the following exceptions:

    • overseas visitors (usually resident outside Australia);
    • members of non-Australian defence forces (and their dependants);
    • non-Australian diplomats (including diplomatic staff and non-Australian members of their household);
    • inmates of gaols and reformatories.

    Coverage

    • Usual residents of selected private dwellings who were present for any part of the enumeration period;
    • Visitors who usually lived in a private dwelling and who had not been at their own usual dwelling for any part of the enumeration period;
    • Persons in special dwellings in the scope of the survey were included if they were living in a special dwelling and would not be at their own private dwelling for any part of the enumeration period

    DATA DETAIL

    Conceptual framework

    The survey of families in Australia is unique in that it focuses on the ways in which family members support each other within, and outside the household. It collects information on both receipt of and provision of support. The structure and needs of the family are identified to enable a rich understanding of specific types of support relating to employment, income, housing, transport, child care, personal care/home help and education. The Family Survey provides a starting-point for the development of indicators of the well-being of families and individuals. The Family Survey objective also relate directly to the specific family issues which have been outlined in the United Nations program for the International Year of the Family (IYF) on strengthening the family's ability to meet its own needs. The IYF program recommends that research is needed in order to identify emotional, financial and material frameworks of support, and how these types of support affect and are affected by the family structure.

    Main outputs

    All persons: Basic demographics, family history and household composition and structure.

    All women 15-59 years: Fertility

    All persons 15 +: mobility, changes in family/household composition, family needs and responsibilities, labour force status, receipt of and provision of care for aged, ill or persons with a disability.

    Parents of 0-11 Usual resident child: Receipt of and provision of child care (formal and informal), balance of work and child care.

    Family level data: Support for and by families is not necessarily confined to a single household. However, output of family level data are based on a single household family concept. The main area of interest for this survey is at the family level. Data items relate to:

    • Family structure/household structure
    • Family history
    • Ethnicity
    • Employment/transport to work/income
    • Income support
    • Education/payment of education expenses
    • Housing/accommodation support
    • Health/personal care/home help
    • Transport for the sick, those with a disability, and the elderly
    • Child care/transport of children

    Classifications

    Country of birth:

    The survey questionnaire listed the eight most frequently reported countries: interviewers were instructed to mark the appropriate box, or if the reported country was not among those eight to write in the name of the country for subsequent office coding. Country of birth was classified at the commencement of the survey according to the Australian Standard Classification of Countries for Social Statistics (ABS Cat No. 1269.0) used in ABS population surveys.

    Occupation:

    Occupation relates to the main job held by employed respondents at the time of interview. Occupation was office coded, based on a description of the kind of work performed, as reported by respondents and recorded by interviewers. Occupation was coded to the four digit (unit group) level of the Australian Standard Classification of Occupations (ABS Cat No.1222.0).

    Family relationship coding:

    All usual residents of each sampled dwelling were grouped into family units and classified according to their position within the family. Family classification details are available in Families in Australia: Data Reference Package (ABS Cat No. 4419.0)

    Other concepts (summary)

    Family: two or more persons who live in the same household and are related to each other by blood, marriage (including de facto marriage), fostering or adoption.

    Child: a family member living with at least one parent in the same household and who does not have a child or partner of their own usually resident in the household

    Couple: two usual residents, both aged at least 15 years, who are either married to each other or living in a de facto marriage with each other. A homosexual couple was not classified as a couple.

    Blended family: a couple family containing two or more children, of whom at least one is the natural, adopted or foster child of both members of the couple, and at least one is the step child of at least one member of the couple.

    Empty nest family: a couple family in which neither member of the couple has a child usually living in the same household but the female member of the couple has borne at least one live child and/or at least one member of the couple has at least one natural, adopted or step child who does not live with him/her.

    Intact family: a couple family containing one or more children, not one of whom is the step child of either member of the couple, and at least one of whom is the natural, adopted or foster child of both members of the couple.

    Step family: a couple containing one or more children, not one of whom is the natural, adopted or foster child of both members of the couple, and at least one of whom is the step child of either member of the couple.

    Lone ancestor: a usually resident parent or grandparent of the sole parent/at least one member of the couple. He/she must not have a spouse usually resident in the household. He/she must not have a child usually resident in the household who does not have a usually resident spouse or child. He/she must not have a parent usually resident in the household.

    GEOGRAPHIC DETAIL
    Australia
    New South Wales
    Victoria
    Queensland
    South Australia
    Western Australia
    Tasmania
    Northern Territory
    ACT
    Statistical Division
    Statistical Subdivision
    Part of State Metropolitan
    Part of State Extra-Metropolitan

    Comments and/or Other Regions

    Not Applicable

    COLLECTION FREQUENCY
    Adhoc

    Frequency comments

    Not Applicable

    COLLECTION HISTORY

    The only previous survey was the Families survey (1982)

    DATA AVAILABILITY
    Yes

    Data availability comments

    Data from the survey is included in the following publications:

      Australia's Families: Selected Findings from the Survey of Families in Australia (ABS Cat No. 4418.0)
      Families in Australia: Data Reference Package (ABS Cat No. 4419.0)
      Families in Australia: A Guide to content and Procedures, Mar 1992 - May 1992 (ABS Cat No. 4415.0)
      Family Survey Unit Record File (ABS Cat No. 4417.0)


    DATE OF LAST UPDATE FOR THIS DOCUMENT
    06/06/2002 11:53 AM


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