Australian Bureau of Statistics
2901.0 - Census Dictionary, 2001
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/04/2001
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The Fact Sheets are designed to provide a quick reference for basic inquiries and information. Fact Sheets are published on an ad hoc basis in response to issues that arise during and after the publication of census data.
Examples of Fact Sheets expected to be produced are as follows:
A family is defined by the ABS as two or more persons, one of whom is at least 15 years of age, who are related by blood, marriage (registered or de facto), adoption, step or fostering, and who are usually resident in the same household.
The basis of a family is formed by identifying the presence of either a couple relationship, lone parent-child relationship or other blood relationship. Some households, therefore, contain more than one family.
Non-related persons living in the same household are not counted as family members (unless under 15 years of age).
Other related individuals (brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles) may be present in the household. If more than one family is present these people can only be associated with the primary family.
Visiting families are not included as part of the household, and the relationships of other visitors are not coded. A household containing only a visiting family (e.g. a family at a holiday home) is coded to a household type of visitors only.
Where all persons present are aged under 15 years, or where information for each person has been imputed, the household is deemed not classifiable to a family. Of people listed as temporarily absent, only spouse(s) and family children are used in coding family type.
Family reference person: One person in each family is designated as the family reference person. A family reference person must be present in the household on Census Night (i.e. listed in the main body of the census form, not in the part for temporary absentees), and over the age of 15 years. There is a reference person for each family in a multiple family household. The reference person for the primary family is usually defined as the household reference person.
Once a suitable family reference person is established for a family, all people identified within the family unit are allocated family relationship codes, and family type determined.
Family Relationships: Family relationships are derived from two questions on the Household Form (see Appendix A). Question 5 asked each person his/her relationship to Person 1/Person 2. Question 44 asked for usual household members who were temporarily absent on Census Night, and their relationship to Person 1/Person 2. Coding of family structure is based on these answers. If Person 1 is not the most appropriate family reference person, coders assign the reference person based on age, marital status and relationship considerations.
If the only person present in the household on Census Night is the reference person, it is still possible to form a family unit where a spouse and/or dependent family children are listed as temporarily absent.
An important note here is that people listed as temporarily absent are considered in the family and household coding only. Characteristics of these people are not available at the household of usual residence. Such people may have been enumerated elsewhere in Australia, however there is no method of linking their census information back to their usual residence.
If relationships are not adequately stated by respondents, the family structure is derived where possible during processing from other responses such as name, usual residence and marital status.
Relationships between multiple families: Up to three families can be coded in one household: the primary family (usually the first listed on the census form, or the one with dependent children), and up to two others. These groups are referred to collectively as secondary families, and individually as second and third families.
The relationship between the families is coded by the variable Relationship Between Families (FRLF). If there are more than three families in a household, three of the families are classified separately. Any others are classified as either related family members or non-family members as appropriate.
It can be useful to look at data for primary families only, or look at relationships between families. Family Number (FNOF) indicates whether the family is a primary or other family, while FRLF details the relationship between the primary family and the second or third families.
Family variables: The basic family classification is Family Type (FMTF). When classifying families, information about temporarily absent family members is used. Other family variables available are:
See also Child, Family/Household Reference Person Indicator (RPIP), Family Type (FMTF), Indigenous Family.
See Family Type (FMTF).
The Family/Household Reference Person Indicator (RPIP) identifies the household member used in census coding as the starting point for identifying the relationships between usual residents of a household. Familial relationships are defined in terms of the relationship between the family reference person and all other family members.
This variable has limited statistical value but is included for use in population and dwelling projection models.
On the census form, people are asked to state their relationship to Person 1. If suitable, Person 1 will then be used as the basis for coding family and relationship details. If Person 1 is not the most appropriate reference person, coders assign a reference person based on age, marital status and relationship considerations. A reference person must be a usual resident of the dwelling aged 15 years or more, and also present on Census Night i.e. not temporarily absent.
In multiple family households, there is a reference person for each family. The reference person for the primary family is usually defined as the household reference person. The identification of a family reference person allows each family within a dwelling to be treated as a separate entity for tabulation purposes.
For group households, the first person on the form who meets the above criteria will become the reference person. For visitor only households and households with no person present aged 15 years or more, the household is considered 'non-classifiable' and no reference person is assigned.
Questionnaire testing conducted by the ABS has found no better method of identifying relationships in a household than seeking 'relationship to Person 1'.
See also Household, Primary family, Relationship in Household (RLHP).
This variable is the sum of the Individual Incomes (INCP) of each family member present in the household on Census Night. Family income only applies to classifiable families in occupied private dwellings. If any person aged 15 and over is temporarily absent, or does not state their income, then the Family Income (FINF) is not derived for that family. Family income is not applicable to non-family households such as group households or lone person households; or to people in non-private dwellings.
Individual incomes are collected as ranges by the census. To enable these range values to be summed, information from the Survey of Income and Housing Costs, which collects income as individual values, is used to estimate the median income within each bracket collected by the census. The relevant median value for each family member is then summed to produce the family income figure.
The same methodology is also used to calculate Household Income (HIND).
The categories of Family Income (FINF) include: 'Partial Income Stated' and 'All Incomes Not Stated'. The first category is used when family members (aged 15 years and over) are temporarily absent or have not stated their income. The second category is used when no family member present (aged 15 years and over) has stated their income.
FINF and HIND are the standard census multiple income classifications and are designed to satisfy a broad range of census requirements. If there is a need to recalculate this variable under different circumstances users can use the derived variable Family Income Derivation Indicator (FIDF) in conjunction with Individual Income (INCP) to create a new family income variable.
See also Family Income Derivation Indicator (FIDF), Household Income (HIND), Individual Income (INCP), Median income.
Family Income Derivation Indicator (FIDF) is used in conjunction with Individual Income (INCP) to create a new family income variable.
FINF is calculated by adding the Individual Incomes (INCP) of each family member present in the household on Census Night. FIDF can be used to identify families where one or more family members were temporarily absent, did not state their income, or stated a negative income.
FIDF can also be used to estimate the impact on total family income caused by negative/no income or persons temporarily absent.
See also Family Income (FINF), Individual Income (INCP).
See Temporarily absent.
This variable indicates whether the family is the primary, second or third family in a household. Families in single family households are always classified as primary families. See also Family Type (FMTF).
See Family, Family/Household Reference Person Indicator (RPIP), Household.
Families are classified in terms of the relationships that exist between a single family reference person and each other member of that family. The Family Type (FMTF) variable distinguishes between different types of families based on the presence or absence of couple relationships, parent-child relationships, child dependency relationships or other blood relationships, in that order of preference.
FMTF is derived from people enumerated in the household who usually reside there, and who share a familial relationship. Partners and dependent children usually present but temporarily absent are also included in this derivation. Boarders and other non-family members are excluded.
For the Census, FMTF relates only to the basic composition of the family. FMTF is the principal family variable used in family tabulations. When cross-classified with other variables, such as Location of Spouse (SPLF), Tenure Type (TEND), Dwelling Structure (STRD), Family Number (FNOF) and Family Income (FINF), demographic characteristics of the different family compositions can be established.
Note: There is no provision for 'other related individuals' in second and third families.
If more than three families are found in a household, only three families are separately classified and any other people are classified as either related family members or non-family members as appropriate. See also Family, Relationship Between Families (FRLF).
For a list of family variables, see the Mnemonic Index in the front of this dictionary.
See Digital base map data.
See Non-School Qualification: Field of Study (QALFP).
First release data are the first part of a two-phase processing, output and dissemination strategy for the 2001 Census. For a list of first release variables, see the 2001 Census Release Strategy in the front of this dictionary.
See Dwelling Structure (STRD)
A foster child is a person who lives with a person or persons who are not his/her natural, adoptive or step parent(s). The definition of foster child includes dependent and non-dependent children. If the foster child is no longer dependent, but still regards his/her relationship with appropriate members of the household as a parent-child relationship, then he/she is coded as a foster child.
Operationally, a person is considered a foster child if the response 'foster' is given for that person, regardless of the individual's dependency status.
Previous ABS definitions of foster child have included a wider range of relationships, including formal and informal fostering. For example, the foster child may have been formally placed within the family by State family services, or the child may have formed a parent-child relationship through either of two dependency criteria. The current definition includes only formal fostering, as measured by the response given in the relationship question. See also Child.
This variable identifies the full/part-time status of students. See also Type of Educational Institution Attending (TYPP).
This page last updated 16 October 2006
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