1286.0 - Family, Household and Income Unit Variables, 2014  
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  • Glossary

GLOSSARY

Consensual union

Two people usually residing in the same household who share a social, economic and emotional bond usually associated with marriage and who consider their relationship to be a marriage or marriage-like union. This concept applies to people in either registered or de facto marriages. In practice, a consensual union exists when the relationship between two people usually resident in the same household is reported as: husband, wife, spouse, partner, de facto, common law husband/wife/spouse, lover, boyfriend or girlfriend.

Couple family with children

A couple family with children usually resident in the same household. It can be expanded upon to elaborate on the characteristics of those children, such as their number, age and dependency status. This family may or may not include other related individuals.

Couple family without children

This is a couple family with no dependent or non-dependent children usually resident in the same household. This family may or may not include other related individuals.

Couple relationship

A couple relationship is defined as two people usually residing in the same household who share a social, economic and emotional bond usually associated with marriage and who consider their relationship to be a marriage or marriage-like union. This relationship is identified by the presence of a registered or de facto marriage.

Decree absolute

A court of law's final order officially ending a marriage, enabling either party to remarry.

Decree nisi

A decree nisi is a decree granted by a court in the first instance for the dissolution of a registered marriage. It is an interim document issued prior to a decree absolute and refers to the legal condition: "not coming into effect unless a person or persons fail to show cause against it within a certain time".

Though people are not legally divorced until the issuing of a decree absolute, people granted a decree nisi are considered to be divorced for the purposes of the 'Registered marital status' classification.

De facto marriage

Two people who live together in a couple relationship who are not registered as being married to each other.

Dependent child

A person aged under 15, or a dependent student.

Dependent student

A full-time student aged 15-24, living in the same usual residence as his or her natural, step, foster or adoptive parent.

Derive

To obtain a value for a variable based on the responses to other questions or (where no response has been provided) from other family members present in the same dwelling.

Divorced

A person who has formally ended their registered marriage by legal means and who has not remarried. People who have obtained a decree nisi are considered to be divorced. A 'decree nisi' is an interim legal document granted before a 'decree absolute' legally ends the marriage.

Ever married

A person whose 'Registered marital status' is other than 'Never married' 'Widowed', 'Divorced', 'Separated', or 'Married'.

Family

Two or more people, one of whom is at least 15 years of age, who are related by blood, marriage (registered or de facto), adoption, step or fostering, and who are usually resident in the same household. The basis of a family is formed by identifying the presence of a couple relationship, lone parent-child relationship or other blood relationship. Some households will therefore contain more than one family.

Family number

A code that identifies the person as a member of a particular family within the household. This is done for all persons in all family households, however it is particularly relevant to people living in multifamily households. Separate families are treated as separate units by the 'Relationship in household' classification, thus a family number is allocated to each person in the household indicating to which family that person belongs.

'Family number' allows for up to nine separate families to be coded from the 'Relationship in household' data. A single digit code (0-9) is assigned to each person to indicate to which family the person belongs. The code '0' is assigned to persons who are not members of families (e.g. lone persons). The code '1' is assigned to all family members in one-family households, or to members of the first family in multifamily households. The code '2' is assigned to members of the second family, and so on.

Family reference person

A family reference person is a household member who forms a family with other members of the household. They are used as the basis for determining the familial relationships that exist between the usual residents of the household.

In a single family household, the household reference person and the family reference person are the same person. The following reference person selection criteria are applied to all usual residents aged 15 years or over, from the top down, until a single appropriate family reference person is identified:

  • one of the partners in a registered or de facto marriage, or
  • a lone parent, or
  • the person with the highest income, or
  • the owner, purchaser or primary rent payer of the household accommodation, or
  • the eldest person.

In multifamily households, the identification of family reference persons allows each family living in a common household to be treated as a separate entity for the purpose of coding.

Household

One or more persons, at least one of whom is at least 15 years of age, usually resident in the same private dwelling.

Household reference person

A household reference person is a household member whose relationship to all other household members can be described in terms that identify the composition of the household and are meaningful to family formation. The relationship between the household reference person and each other individual can identify relationships between other members of the household and further clarify household and family composition.

The following reference person selection criteria are applied to all usual residents aged 15 years or over, from the top down, until a single appropriate household reference person is identified:
  • one of the partners in a registered or de facto marriage, or
  • a lone parent, or
  • the person with the highest income, or
  • the owner, purchaser or primary rent payer of the household accommodation, or
  • the eldest person.

In a single family household, the household reference person and the family reference person are the same person. In a multifamily household, there is one household reference person (who is also the family reference person for the primary family) and a family reference person for each subsequent family.

Income unit

A group of two or more people who are usually resident in the same household and are related to each other through a couple relationship and/or parent/dependent child relationship; or a person not party to either such relationship.

Lone ancestor

An other related, usually resident, individual who is a father/mother or grandfather/grandmother. They are therefore a usually resident parent or grandparent of a person in the household who has already formed a family relationship. To be identified as an other related individual, a person cannot have a spouse or partner usually resident in the household and cannot form a parent-child relationship with any other related individual in the household.

Married

'Married' has a different meaning depending on whether it refers to the concept of 'Social marital status' or 'Registered marital status'. According to the concept of 'Social marital status', the term married in 'Social marital status' refers to the status of a person living with another person in either a registered or de facto relationship . According to the concept of 'Registered marital status', the term 'married' refers to the status of a person in a legally registered marriage, provided they are not separated from their spouse, even if the spouse is not a usual resident of the same household. If there is any possibility of ambiguity, the term 'registered married' is used in preference to 'married' in relation to 'Registered marital status'.

Married in a de facto marriage

A person is married in a de facto marriage when they live with another person in a couple relationship that is not a registered marriage

Married in a registered marriage

A person who lives with another person in a couple relationship and to whom they are legally registered as married.

In practice, a person is classified as being a partner in a registered marriage if their relationship to another person, who usually lives in the same household, is reported as: husband, wife or spouse, and the 'Registered marital status' of both partners (if also asked in the collection) is reported as registered married.

Never married

A person who has never been a partner in a registered marriage.

Non-private dwelling

Non-private dwellings are establishments which provide a communal type of accommodation. Examples are hotels, motels, Boarding houses, private hotels; public hospitals (not psychiatric); and Child care institutions. Accommodation for the retired or aged (not self-contained) where meals are provided are also considered to be non-private dwellings.

Not married

The term 'not married' is used primarily in relation to 'Social marital status' and refers to a person who is not living with another person in either a registered or de facto marriage. This includes people who live alone, with other family members, and those in shared accommodation. It also includes persons who are in a registered marriage or in a de facto marriage, but whose partners are not usually resident in the household.

When the term 'not married' is used in the context of 'Registered marital status', it refers to people whose 'Registered marital status' is never married, widowed or divorced. It also includes those who are living with a de facto partner and must be footnoted as such.

In the context of 'Registered marital status', the term 'not registered married' is generally used in preference to 'not married'.

Not registered married

A person who is currently not a partner in a registered marriage.

It should be noted that this term relates to people whose 'Registered marital status' is reported as never married, widowed or divorced and that the use of this term is preferable, in the context of 'Registered marital status', to the term 'not married'.

One parent family

A family consisting of a lone parent with at least one dependent or non-dependent child (regardless of age) who is also usually resident in the family. This family type may or may not include other related individuals.

The one parent family concept can be expanded to elaborate on the characteristics of the children, such as whether they are dependent children or not and, for dependent children, whether they are aged under 15 or are dependent students.

Examples of one parent families include a 25-year-old parent with dependent children and an 80-year-old parent living with a 50-year-old child.

Other family

A family of related individuals residing in the same household. These individuals do not form a couple or parent-child relationship with any other person in the household and are not related to a couple or one parent family in the household.

For example, if two brothers live together and neither is a partner, a lone parent or a child to someone else in the household, and neither is related to any person in the household who is in a couple or one-parent family, then they are classified as an 'Other family'. However, if the two brothers share the household with the daughter of one of the brothers and her husband, then both brothers are attached to the couple family and classified as 'Other related individuals'.

Partner

A person in a couple relationship with another person usually resident in the same household. The couple relationship may be in either a registered marriage or de facto partnership.

Primary family

A household can contain one or more families. In a multifamily household, one family is called the 'Primary family'. Where there is more than one family in a household, the family with dependent children is designated the 'Primary family'. If there is more than one family with dependent children, or no children are present in the household, then the 'Primary family' is the family of the household reference person.

Private dwelling

A private dwelling is usually a house, flat, or even a room. It can also be a caravan, houseboat, tent, or a house attached to an office, or rooms above a shop. Occupied dwellings in caravan/residential parks are treated as occupied private dwellings.

Registered marital status

An individual's current status in regard to a registered marriage, i.e. whether they are widowed, divorced, separated, married or never married.

Registered married

A legally registered married person not separated from their spouse, even if the spouse is not a usual resident of the same household.

Relationship in household

The relationship of each person in a family to the family reference person or, where a person is not part of a family, that person's relationship to the household reference person.

Same-sex couple

Two people of the same sex who form a couple relationship and are usually resident in the same household.

Second and third families

Second and third families are those families in a household other than the 'Primary family'.

Separated

A person who is a partner in a registered marriage, but considers themselves to be no longer in a relationship and has not yet divorced.

Social marital status

The relationship status of an individual to another person who is a usual resident in the household. Under 'Social Marital Status' a marriage exists when two people live together as husband and wife, or partners, regardless of whether the marriage is formalised through registration. Individuals are, therefore, regarded as married if they are in a de facto marriage, or they are registered as legally married.

Widowed

A person whose spouse in a registered marriage has died and who has not remarried.