People less likely to live in couple families with kids


The proportion of Australians living in couple families with children will continue to fall over time, according to projections released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

ABS Director of Demography, Anthony Grubb, said: "Between 1996 and 2016, the proportion of Australians living in couple families with children declined from 54 per cent to 49 per cent, and the ABS projects this to further decline to 48 per cent by 2041."

"In contrast, the proportion of Australians living in couple families without children increased over this period, from 19 per cent in 1996 to 21 per cent in 2016 and is projected to remain stable at 21 per cent by 2041," he said.

"The increase in people living in couple families without children was not consistent across age groups. Between 1996 and 2016 the proportion increased among 25–34 year olds and decreased among 45–59 year olds, reflecting the trend of women delaying child birth."

There was also an increase in the proportion of people living in couple families without children among people aged 75 years and over due to males living longer. These trends are projected to continue out to 2041 in all series.

Living arrangement proportions

 199620162041 projected (a)
Couple family with children544948
Couple family without children192121
Single parent family111212
Other families223
Group household member444
Lone person91010
Usual resident of a non-private dwelling222

a. Data for 2041 is based on series II projections. Projections are available for three different series based on varying sets of assumptions. For further information see Household and Family Projections, Australia, 2016 to 2041 (cat. no. 3236.0).

Further information is available in Household and Family Projections, Australia (cat. no. 3236.0) available for free download from the ABS website.

Media notes

  • These projections are not intended as forecasts or predictions, but are illustrations of growth and change in the population that would occur if assumptions made about future demographic trends were to prevail over the projection period.
  • Capital cities mentioned in this release are Greater Capital City Statistical Areas, as defined in the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS): Volume 1 - Main Structure and Greater Capital City Statistical Areas (cat. no. 1270.0.55.001).
  • When reporting ABS data, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) must be attributed as the source.
  • For media requests and interviews, contact the ABS Communications Section on 1300 175 070 or (8:30am - 5:00pm Canberra time Mon-Fri).
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