Families are a vital part of society, forming the basic unit of home life for most Australian people. Family composition and structure is however, in a constant state of change. Family statistics measure aspects of this change and are important social indicators. They provide insight into the patterns of marriage, partnering, family formation and separation. Family statistics are also a useful source of information about parental care, visiting arrangements and child support.
The significance of the family to the wellbeing of a society as a whole is recognised by Commonwealth and State and Territory government agencies and a wide range of policies and programs are directed towards supporting families. Family and community statistics are used to support the development and evaluation of government programs as well as to inform planning and program delivery decisions.
Communities, along with families, make up an important part of society. The strength of community functioning and levels of social capital within communities has been seen as having a large impact on individual, family and community wellbeing. Voluntary work and the way in which people use their time are aspects which can impact on strength of community functioning and social capital levels.
This page acts as a guide to various statistical collections and publications relating to the family and to communities. It also provides links to ABS Contacts who can provide assistance in obtaining data and answer general queries.
This page first published 20 April 2006, last updated 19 February 2010