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FAMILY CHARACTERISTICS AND TRANSITIONS SURVEY
Following the financial year cycle of the MPHS, the FCS and FTHS were conducted between July 2006 to June 2007, excluding the months of August and September when the 2006 Census of Population and Housing was conducted.
Frequency of Collection
This is an irregular survey. The ABS plans to repeat the FCS three yearly as part of MPHS. It will next be collected in 2009-10. The FTHS will be collected 6 yearly and will next be collected in 2012-13.
Method of collection
ABS interviewers conducted personal interviews by either telephone or at selected dwellings. Each month a sample of dwellings was selected for the MPHS from the responding households in the last rotation group for the MPS. In these dwellings, after the MPS had been fully completed for each person, a usual resident aged 15 years and over was selected at random and asked the additional MPHS questions in a personal interview. Information was collected using Computer Assisted Interviewing (CAI), whereby responses are recorded directly onto an electronic questionnaire in a notebook computer.
The Family Characteristics topic collected information from the randomly selected person about the household and about every person in the household, including all children in the household. The Family Transitions and History topic questions were only asked about the randomly selected persons aged 18 years and over, with some sub-topics having additional age restrictions.
Publications related to each of the selected topic, will usually be available within six months of completion of data collection.
Family Characteristics and Transitions, Australia, June 2006-07 (ABS cat. no. 4442.0)
Family Characteristics Survey, Australia, Expanded Confidentialised Unit Record File: Technical Manual, 2006-07 (ABS cat.no. 4442.0.55.002)
Data are available for Australia, state and territory, and capital city/balance of state (excluding territories).
Customised tables are available on request, as a charged service. State and territory tables are also available.
Family Characteristics Survey, Australia, Expanded Confidentialised Unit Record File, 2006-07 (ABS cat. no. 4442.0.55.001)
Data items are available at both person and family level, with some data items available at the household level. Variables include standard labour force items, basic demographics and socio-economic characteristics. Data items about families cover: family structure and life cycle stage, number of dependent children by age group, children with a natural parent living elsewhere, age and marital status of parents/partners.
Country of birth and year of arrival
State or territory of usual residence
Region of usual residence
Whether attending school
Whether a full time student
Level of highest non-school qualification
Field of highest non-school qualification
Age and whether attending an educational institution
Highest year of school completed
The 2006-07 FCS was the fifth survey on the topic of family composition. Family Surveys were conducted by the ABS in 1982 ('Families Survey') and 1992 ('Survey of Families in Australia'), and previous FCSs were conducted in both 1997 and 2003. The Family Surveys, and to a lesser extent the 1997 FCS, differed from the 2003 and 2006-07 FCS in some areas. Nevertheless, these differences do not preclude useful comparisons between them for certain data items. For more detail on differences over time, see the Family Characteristics and Transitions, Australia 2006-07 Explanatory Notes.
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