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6224.0.55.001 - Labour Force, Australia: Labour Force Status and Other Characteristics of Families, Jun 2011 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/09/2011   
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Contents >> Couple Families


<< Previous Section: Australian Families


As noted in What is a Family?, couple families are based around a couple relationship between two people who are either married or in a de facto partnership. and includes couples with or without children or dependants, gay partners and other variations.

In June 2011, there were:

    • 2.3 million opposite-sex couple families with dependants
    • 3 million opposite-sex couple families without dependants
    • 33 thousand same-sex couple families

Column Graph: Shows how the percentage of employed couples decreases with age of youngest dependant


The proportion of couple families with dependants in which one or both partners were employed was 94% in June 2011

The father was employed in 90% of all opposite-sex couples with dependants. In 93% of these cases, the father was employed full-time.

The mother was employed in 67% of opposite-sex couple families with dependants. The proportion where the mother was employed full-time has remained steady at 28%. This proportion increases with the age of the youngest dependant, from 18% for mothers of 0–4 year olds to 42% of mothers of young people aged 15–24.

Column Graph: Shows how the percentage of full-time employed mothers in couples decreases with age of youngest dependant


In June 2011, 57% of couple families had no dependants.

Both partners were 45 or older in 71% of couple families without dependants. Of those, 58% were families where at least one partner was employed.

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