Count of Dependent Children in Family (CDCF)
This variable counts the number of dependent children in a family. A dependent child is a person who is either a child under 15 years of age, or a dependent student aged 15-24 years. This variable is applicable to all families with children. which accounted for 60.6% of all families reported in the 2016 Census. This includes children who were with the family on Census night, and up to three children who were temporarily absent from the dwelling on Census night.
How this variable is created
Count of Dependent Children in Family is a family variable that uses information collected from responses to the Relationship in Household and the Persons Temporarily Absent questions on the Census Household Form. This variable is a count of the number of dependent children and is derived from the Relationship in Household and Count of Children Under 15 and Dependent Students (15-24) Temporarily Absent variables. People are counted as temporarily absent from their family when they are included in response to the persons temporarily absent question. Images of these questions are provided below.
This variable was first introduced in 2011. No changes were made in 2016.
Non-response rate only applies to data items that directly reflect responses to individual Census form questions. Count of Dependent Children in Family does not have a non-response rate as it is a derived value created during Census processing for applicable families. For more information, refer to Understanding Census data quality.
Data usage notes
People may be missed from the persons temporarily absent section of the form as they are not present in the household when the form is being filled out. This can occur in both family and group households. Additionally due to form limitations a maximum of three people can be reported and coded as temporarily absent from the dwelling. If more than three people are absent from the household the additional persons are unable to be included on the form.
Count of Dependent Children in Family should be used carefully when comparing to other family data from within the ABS and for external organisations or agencies. The definition of a family can differ between different statistical collections and may not match Census definitions.
A definition for Count of Dependent Children in Family is available in the 2016 Census Dictionary.
For information on family type and family composition, see the data quality statement for Family Composition.
For information on the Relationship in Household question and data item, see the data quality statement for Relationship in Household.
For more information on Persons Temporarily Absent, see the Census Dictionary glossary entry.
Household form question image
Questions 5 and 53 as they appear on the 2016 Census Household Paper Form:
A text only version of the online Census Household form is available from the Downloads tab.