Australian Bureau of Statistics
3236.0 - Household and Family Projections, Australia, 2006 to 2031 Quality Declaration
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 08/06/2010
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LIVING ARRANGEMENTS OF PEOPLE
In Australia in 2006, there were 9.4 million people living as a partner in a couple relationship (either with or without children living with them), accounting for 46% of the population. This number is projected to increase to between 12.5 million (Series III) and 13.5 million (Series I) by 2031, or 44% and 47% of the population.
Partners in couple families with children
In 2006 there were 5.2 million people living as partners in a couple relationship with children, with people aged 40-44 years the most prevalent. This number is projected to increase in Series I and II, to 6.8 million and 6.1 million respectively in 2031, an overall increase of 32% and 19%. In Series III, which assumes a continuation of 1991 to 2006 living arrangement trends, the number is projected to decrease by 4% to reach 4.9 million people. In 2006, partners in couple families with children accounted for more than half (55%) of all people in couple relationships; this proportion is projected to decrease in all three series, to between 40% (Series III) and 50% (Series I) in 2031.
Partners in couple families without children
In 2006, people living as partners in couple families without children made up 45% of all people living in couple relationships; by 2031, they are projected to account for between 50% and 60% of all people living in couple relationships. The number of people in this type of living arrangement is projected to increase in all three series, from 4.3 million people in 2006 to between 6.7 million (Series I) and 7.6 million (Series III) in 2031. This represents an overall increase of 57% to 77%.
The majority of growth is projected to occur in the older age groups, and is primarily due to the ageing of the population, particularly as baby boomers move into the older age groups and become 'empty nesters' as their children leave home. Of the total increase in partners in couple families without children (an increase of between 2.4 and 3.3 million people), between 76% (Series III) and 80% (Series I) is accounted for by increases in numbers of partners aged 55 years and over. The growth projected in younger age groups (ages 25-39 years) is most apparent in Series III and is related to relatively low fertility rates and delayed family formation.
The number of lone parents is projected to increase in all three series between 2006 and 2031. Female lone parents, who tend to be younger than male lone parents, are projected to increase by between 40% and 78%, from 766,000 in 2006 to between 1.1 and 1.4 million in 2031. The number of male lone parents is projected to increase by between 43% and 74%, from 154,800 in 2006 to between 221,000 and 269,400 in 2031.
In 2006, there were 6.8 million children of any age living with one or two parents, accounting for one-third (33%) of Australia's population. This is projected to decrease to between 29% and 31% with the number of children of any age projected to reach between 8.4 and 8.8 million by 2031.
While this proportion decreases slightly between 2006 and 2031, differences according to family type are apparent between the three series. In Series I and II, children in two-parent families increase more than children in one-parent families, increasing by 1.3 and 1.1 million children respectively to reach 6.6 and 6.4 million children in 2031 (from 5.3 million in 2006). Children in one-parent families are projected to increase by 373,600 (Series I) and 672,600 (Series II) to reach 1.9 and 2.2 million children in 2031 (from 1.5 million in 2006). In Series III, children in one-parent families increase more than children in two-parent families, increasing by 1.3 million children to reach 2.8 million in 2031, while children in two-parent families are projected to only increase by 754,000 to reach 6.0 million children.
Children aged 0-14 years
In 2006, there were 4.1 million children aged 0-14 years living in Australia, accounting for 20% of Australia's population. This number is projected to increase by 25% to reach 5.1 million children by 2031 (18% of the population), while Australia's population is projected to increase by 39%.
Most children (81%) aged 0-14 years lived in two-parent families in 2006. In Series I, in which the 2006 pattern of living arrangements remains the same for the entire projection period, the number of children aged 0-14 years in two-parent families is projected to have the greatest increase, from 3.3 million in 2006 to 4.1 million in 2031. In Series II and III, where recent trends in changes in living arrangement propensities are incorporated, the number of children aged 0-14 years in two-parent families is projected to only increase to 3.9 and 3.6 million (78% and 71% of all children aged 0-14 years) respectively.
Children aged 0-14 years living in one-parent families are projected to have a small increase in Series I, from 756,800 in 2006 (19% of all children aged 0-14 years) to 940,600 in 2031. In Series II and III children living in one-parent families are projected to reach 1.1 million (22%) and 1.4 million (29%) respectively in 2031, reflecting the effect of separation and/or divorce of partners with children.
Other related individuals
In 2006 there were 244,000 'other related individuals' living in family households, accounting for only a very small proportion of the total population (1%). This living arrangement includes family members such as grandparents, cousins, nieces and nephews. The number of other related individuals in family households is projected to increase to between 265,000 (Series III) and 399,100 (Series I) in 2031, continuing to account for around 1% of the population.
People living alone
The number of people living alone is projected to increase at a high rate between 2006 and 2031. In 2006 there were 1.9 million people living alone in Australia; by 2031 there are projected to be between 3.0 million (Series I) and 3.6 million (Series III) people living alone, representing an increase of between 63% and 91% respectively, or 1.2 to 1.7 million people.
This increase partly reflects the rapid growth in older age groups as a result of population ageing - in 2006, people aged 55 years and over accounted for over half (54%) of all people living alone, but in Series I are projected to account for around 80% of the total growth in people living alone. In Series II and III, where recent trends in changes in living arrangement propensities are incorporated, growth is distributed more evenly amongst all age groups.
In all three series, women account for more than half of the number of people living alone. This partly reflects greater numbers of women than men in older age groups (with women projected to represent 55% of those aged 75 years and older in 2031), which in turn reflects greater life expectancy of women. The number of women living alone is projected to increase from 1.0 million in 2006 to between 1.7 million and 1.8 million in 2031, an increase of between 73% and 83%, while the number of men living alone is projected to increase from 850,500 to between 1.3 million and 1.7 million, an increase of between 51% and 101%. While women are more likely to live alone in old age, the tendency for men to live alone is more evenly distributed across age groups, reflecting both the likelihood of young men to live alone and the effects of separation and/or divorce of partners with children.
People living in group households
In all three series, the number of people living in group households is projected to increase, from 675,600 people in 2006 to between 813,300 and 898,700 people in 2031. This represents an overall increase of between 20% and 33%. Group household members are projected to remain a relatively minor proportion of the total population, accounting for 3% of the population in 2031, the same as in 2006. In 2031, as in 2006, the most prevalent age group of group household members is the 20-24 year age group, followed by the 25-29 year age group.
People living in non-private dwellings
In 2006, there were 368,600 people living in non-private dwellings in Australia. This number is projected to increase to between 561,600 and 677,700 in 2031, an overall increase of between 52% and 84%. People living in non-private dwellings are projected to remain a small component of the total population, accounting for only 2% of the population in 2031, the same as in 2006.
In 2006, around half (52%) of all people living in non-private dwellings were aged over 65 years. This proportion is projected to increase to between 57% and 67%, reflecting the ageing of the population. A smaller proportion (22% in 2006) of people living in non-private dwellings occurs among young adults aged 15-29 years, and is largely comprised of those living in boarding schools and institutions of tertiary education.
This page last updated 18 March 2015
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