1286.0 - Family, Household and Income Unit Variables, 2014  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 19/02/2015   
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OUTPUT

STANDARD OUTPUT CATEGORIES

'Social marital status' output may be presented in aggregate form, comprising the two categories 'Married' and 'Not married', or in an expanded form as follows:


Married
in a registered marriage
in a de facto marriage
Not married


Output at a greater level of detail than the expanded form above is not generally recommended as the reporting of same-sex couple relationships is likely to be low. Such data are thus expected to be statistically insignificant and their output in some collections may breach ABS confidentiality provisions.

Therefore output for 'Married in a de facto marriage' should be accompanied by a footnote stating that the category includes partners in same-sex de facto relationships.

Labels and footnotes

In publications and discussions where both the 'Registered marital status' and 'Social marital status' concepts are addressed, clear labels and footnotes must be used to differentiate 'Registered marital status' categories from 'Social marital status' categories.

Footnotes should state that in the 'Social marital status' classification:
  • The category 'Married' includes de facto marriages and registered marriages.
  • The category 'Married in a de facto marriage' includes same-sex couples.
  • The category 'Not married' includes people who are not currently living with their registered marriage spouse or with a de facto partner.
A footnote should state that in the 'Registered marital status' classification:
  • The category 'married' excludes de facto marriages.
In addition, definitions for the concepts and categories used should be listed in a glossary of terms. These should be consistent with those outlined in the Glossary (see Explanatory Notes tab). In some instances, there may be a need for explanatory notes to further clarify the concepts.

Not registered married

Care should be taken when using the term 'Not married' in relation to 'Registered marital status' to prevent confusion with the 'Social marital status' category. The term 'Not registered married' should be used in preference to 'Not married', if there is any possibility of ambiguity. It should be noted that the term 'Not registered married' relates to those people whose 'Registered marital status' is coded as 'Never married', 'Widowed' or 'Divorced'.

If the term 'Not married' is used where the data refer to 'Registered marital status', the ABS advises it should be footnoted as follows:
  • 'Refers to people whose 'Registered marital status' is 'Never married', 'Widowed' or 'Divorced', including those who are living with a de facto partner.'
Ever married

The term 'Ever married' can be used to refer to all people whose 'Registered marital status' is other than 'Never married'.


CROSS CLASSIFIED OUTPUT STRUCTURE

Using both 'Registered marital status' and 'Social marital status'

In many circumstances the most useful application of 'Registered marital status' will be in combined output with 'Social marital status'. Where such output is required, the following output structure is standard.


Registered marriage
Married

De facto marriage
Never registered married
Widowed
Divorced
Separated
Registered married (1)

Not married
Never registered married
Widowed
Divorced
Separated
Registered married (2)

(1) This category includes individuals still in a registered marriage who have formed a de facto marriage with another person.
(2) This category includes individuals who report themselves as being in a registered marriage but whose spouse is not a usual resident of the same dwelling.

Cross-classifying 'Registered marital status' and 'Social marital status'

It is not anticipated that many collections will present data cross-tabulated in this way. However, when this is necessary, the following format is recommended for output tables:

TABLE STRUCTURE

Social marital status
Married
Registered
De facto
Not married
Registered
marital status
Never married
n/a (1)
Widowed
n/a (1)
Divorced
n/a (1)
Separated
n/a (1)
Married
(2)
(3)

(1) Not applicable as it is not possible to have data for these categories.
(2) This category includes individuals still in a registered marriage who have formed a de facto marriage with another person.
(3) This category includes individuals who report themselves as being in a registered marriage but whose spouse is not a usual resident of the same dwelling.


MEASUREMENT ISSUES

No specific measurement issues apply to the variable 'Social marital status' beyond the normal constraints affecting statistical collections, such as problems with confidentiality and standard errors which may prevent the output of data for some of the categories of the classification.


RELATED CLASSIFICATIONS

Because of the close connection between 'Social marital status', 'Registered marital status', 'Relationship in household', 'Family composition' and 'Household composition', none of these should be changed without first considering any implications of the proposed change for the other related classifications.
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