3236.0 - Household and Family Projections, Australia, 2016 to 2041 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 14/03/2019   
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Couples with children

Around half the Australian population was living in a couple family with children between 1996 and 2016. This was the most common living arrangement.

In 2016:

    • 49% of Australians lived in a couple family with children.
    • 24% were partners, 24% were children.

In 1996:
    • 54% of Australians lived in a couple family with children.
    • 27% were partners, 27% were children.


Couples without children

People living in couple-only families (without children) increased from 19% in 1996 to 21% in 2016, but there were different patterns for different age groups.

Between 1996 and 2016, the proportion of people living in couple-only families:
    • increased among 25–34 year olds (from 21% to 26% of this age group).
    • decreased among 45–59 year olds (from 30% to 23% of this age group).
    • increased among people aged 75 years and over (from 35% to 42% of this age group) – due to males living longer.


Single-parent families

People living in single-parent families increased from 11% in 1996 to 12% in 2016.

In 2016:
    • there was an average of 1.6 children per single-parent household (1.5 in 1996).
    • one in five (18%) single parents were male (15% in 1996).


Group households

Group households remained stable from 1996 to 2016, with 4% of Australia's population living in a group household.

In 2016:
    • one in five group household members (20%) were aged 50 or over – up from 12% in 1996.
    • the average group household size was 2.3 people (also 2.3 in 1996).


Living alone

People living alone increased from 9% in 1996 to 10% in 2016.

Under age 55, most people living alone were men (57% in 2016, down from 60% in 1996), but over age 55 most people living alone were women (62% in 2016, down from 69% in 1996).


Non-private dwellings

Between 1996 and 2016 people who usually lived in non-private dwellings (such as boarding schools, aged care facilities, prisons and workers' accommodation) increased from 1.8% to 2.0% of Australia's population. The nursing home population had the largest increase of any non-private dwelling type.


State and territory variations

Trends in living arrangements were similar across the states and territories. Where differences exist, this usually reflects differences in the age structure of the population.

For example,
    • the state with the oldest age structure, Tasmania, had the lowest proportion of people living in group households.
    • the state with the youngest age structure, the Northern Territory, had the lowest proportion of lone-person households (which were mainly older females).

    Living Arrangements, State/territory ranking, 1996 and 2016

    Lowest
    Proportion of state/territory
    Highest
    Proportion of state/territory
    Proportion of Australia
    %
    %
    %

    1996

    Couple family with children
    South Australia
    51.4
    Victoria
    55.9
    54.1
    Couple family without children
    Northern Territory
    14.6
    South Australia
    21.5
    19.2
    Single-parent family
    Victoria
    10.1
    Northern Territory
    13.8
    10.5
    Group household member
    Tasmania
    3.0
    Australian Capital Territory
    5.0
    3.7
    Lone person
    Northern Territory
    6.2
    South Australia
    10.4
    8.7
    Non-private dwellings
    Victoria
    1.5
    Northern Territory
    3.4
    1.8

    2016

    Couple family with children
    Tasmania
    42.5
    Victoria
    50.5
    49.1
    Couple family without children
    Northern Territory
    18.3
    Tasmania
    24.8
    21.2
    Single-parent family
    Australian Capital Territory
    9.6
    Tasmania / Northern Territory
    13.1
    11.8
    Group household member
    Tasmania
    3.2
    Australian Capital Territory
    4.6
    3.9
    Lone person
    Northern Territory
    6.9
    Tasmania
    12.9
    9.5
    Non-private dwellings
    Victoria
    1.7
    Northern Territory
    5.6
    2.0