2901.0 - Census of Population and Housing: Census Dictionary, 2016  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/08/2016   
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2016 Census Dictionary >> Glossary >> Family Composition (FMCF)

Family Composition (FMCF)

This variable was introduced in the 2006 Census to replace Family Type (FMTF) which was used in previous Censuses.

Families are classified in terms of the relationships that exist between a single family reference person and each other member of that family. The Family Composition (FMCF) variable distinguishes between different types of families based on the presence or absence of couple relationships, parent-child relationships, child dependency relationships or other familial relationships, in that order of preference.

FMCF is derived from people enumerated in the household who usually reside there, and who share a familial relationship. Partners and dependent children usually present but temporarily absent are also included in this derivation. No provision has been made in Family Composition to classify family members outside the family nucleus. For example, in a family which contains a couple and their dependent children, plus a parent of one of the couple, the latter would be recorded as an 'other related individual'. Identification of such persons within a family is done by means of 'Relationship in household' data. Boarders and other non-family members are excluded.

For the Census, FMCF relates only to the basic composition of the family. FMCF is the principal family variable used in family tabulations. When cross-classified with other variables, such as Location of Spouse (SPLF), Tenure Type (TEND), Dwelling Structure (STRD), Family Number (FNOF) and Total Family Income (weekly) (FINF), demographic characteristics of the different family compositions can be established.

Note: There is no provision for 'other related individuals' in second and third families.

If more than three families are found in a household, only three families are separately classified and any other people are classified as either related family members or non-family members as appropriate.

See also Family, Relationship Between Families (FRLF).

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