Family Number (FNOF)

This variable indicates whether a family is the primary, second or third family in a multiple family household. Families in one family households are always classified as primary families.

In the 2011 Census, data on the relationships people have with others in the same dwelling is mainly derived from question 5 on the Census Household Form, which asks for each person’s relationship to Person 1 on the form.

In multi-family households, the primary family is normally the one with the most dependent children or in multi-generational households, the younger family. As an example, 67.3% of primary families in multi-family households have dependent children (children under 15 years or dependent students aged 15 to 24) compared with 28.1% for Second families and 37.2% for Third families. 'Primary family' is an ABS construct that is used to aid coding of household relationships, and should not be misinterpreted as signifying the family that owns the house, or is the 'main' family for any reason other than ABS relationship coding purposes.

In Census data, a maximum of three families are able to be identified within a single dwelling, in accordance with existing ABS standards. While this may have only a small effect on total family numbers generally, the impact may be more significant among population groups which are more likely to live in multi-generational households or with large numbers of extended family members.

For more information about quality issues relating to family data see the data quality statement for Family Composition (FMCF).

More information on Family Number (FNOF) is available in the 2011 Census Dictionary (cat. no. 2901.0).

Question 5 as it appeared on the 2011 Census Household Form

Data for this variable is mainly derived from question 5 on the Census Household Form.

Image of question 5 from the 2011 Census
A text only version of this question is also available

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