Relationship Between Families (FRLF)

This variable classifies the relationship between the primary family and the second and third family enumerated in the same household. To identify the second and third families, the variable Family Number (FNOF) is required.

In the 2011 Census, data on the relationships people have with others in a multi-family household is mainly derived from question 5 on the Census Household Form, which asks for each person’s relationship to Person 1 on the form. From these relationships, coders create families and subsequently the relationships between families, to derive the relationship of each family to the household's 'primary family'. '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 the 'main' family for any reason other than ABS family and household coding purposes.

The family that is coded as the primary family is generally that which contains the most dependent children, however where families have 'Other related persons' present, they are coded as the primary family.

This variable was applicable to 15.2% of all families in 2011, compared with 11.9% in 2006. This increase is spread across all Relationships Between Families (FRLF) categories, with the most prominent increases being in the Son's/Daughter's family and Unrelated family categories.

Users of this variable are reminded that the FRLF categories of Father's/Mother's Family (FRLF category 1) and Son's/Daughter's Family (FRLF category 3) are complementary. To find the number of families living with a family that contains a parent or child of one of the family members, users should consider both of these categories combined. Users are faced with a similar situation when looking at Grandparent/Grandchild families (FRLF categories 2 and 4). Any one of these categories used in isolation will not give a full count of family pairs bound by a specified relationship.

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

More information on FRLF 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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