INTRODUCTION TO THE STANDARD
At the broad level, 'Social marital status' is derived from 'Relationship in household' data; detailed 'Social marital status' requires the collection of broad 'Registered marital status' data as well.
The related variable 'Registered marital status' establishes the legal status of marriage arrangements in Australia. As the two concepts measure different personal characteristics and serve different purposes they are treated as separate standards with their own classifications. They can be used independently or together depending on the purposes of the analysis.
The ABS therefore recommends that 'Social marital status' is always derived when information on living arrangements is sought, whereas 'Registered marital status' need be output only where it is required specifically for the purposes of the collection.