1286.0 - Family, Household and Income Unit Variables, 2005  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 01/06/2005   
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Contents >> Family composition >> Introduction

1. The standard variable 'Family composition' identifies the composition of families within households. It is used to measure family structure and size and is an essential variable for the analysis of the social and economic well-being of both the family unit and the individuals within those families.

2. This standard variable should be used for all collections which aim to identify the structure of families within households. Other related standard variables are 'Relationship in household', 'Household composition', 'Registered marital status', 'Social marital status' and 'Income unit composition'.

3. The 'Family composition' standard replaces the ABS Standard Variable 'Family type' which was first published in 1995 in Standards for Statistics on the Family (Cat No. 1286.0). An ABS review of family and household standards identified the desirability of streamlining the family classification and output structures; however the categories of the 'Family composition' classification are fully compatible with those of the 'Family type' classification which it replaces. The 'Family composition' standard also specifies the procedures and rules required to allocate related household members to families when more than one family is identified in a household.

4. Terminology used in this standard is defined in the Glossary section of the 'Overview of family, household and income unit standards'.

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