2900.0 - Census of Population and Housing: Understanding the Census and Census Data, Australia , 2016  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 08/11/2017  First Issue
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Count of Persons in Family (CPRF)

This variable counts the number of persons in a family. It includes other related individuals who are not part of the primary couple relationship, and other related individuals who are not part of a lone parent-child relationship or other blood relationship (e.g. it includes in-laws).

It is applicable to all families in family households.

How this variable is created

Count of Persons in Family uses information collected from the Relationship in Household and Persons Temporarily Absent on Census night questions. It is derived from the Relationship in Household and Count of Persons Temporarily Absent from Family variables. It includes up to three persons who were temporarily absent from the family on Census night.

Variable history

This variable was first introduced in 2011. No changes were made in 2016.

Non-response rate

Non-response rate only applies to data items that directly reflect responses to individual Census form questions. Count of Persons 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 Persons 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.

Further information

A definition for CPRF 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:

Image: 2016 Household Paper Form - Question 5. What is the person's relationship to Person 1/Person 2?
Image: 2016 Household Paper Form - Question 53. For each person away, complete the following questions:
A text only version of the online Census Household form is available from the Downloads tab.


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