2900.0 - Census of Population and Housing: Understanding the Census and Census Data, Australia , 2016  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 08/11/2017  First Issue
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Relationship Between Families (FRLF)

This variable describes the relationship between families within a household. The relationship described is that of the second (or subsequent family) to the primary family. For instance, if a household contained two families where the primary family consists of a couple family with children and the second family consists of the parents of the reference person of the primary family, the relationship between families of the second family is 'Mother's/father's family'. This variable is applicable to families that live in households with one or more other families.

How this variable is created

Data for this variable is derived mainly from the Relationship in Household and the Persons Temporarily Absent questions on the Census Household Form. These questions are used to determine the relationships people have with others in a multi-family household. Images of these question are provided below.

From these relationships, during data processing families and subsequently the relationships between families derive the relationship of each family to the household's 'primary family'. A 'primary family' is an ABS term that is used to aid coding of household relationships, and should not be misinterpreted as signifying the family that owns the house, or the 'main' family for any reason other than ABS family and household coding purposes.

Variable history

This variable was first introduced in 1991. 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. Relationship Between Families does not have a non-response rate as it is a derived value created during Census processing for applicable families. Non-response rate only applies to data items that directly reflect responses to individual Census form questions. For more information, refer to Understanding Census data quality.

Data usage notes

Relationship Between Families categories of 'Mother's/father's family' (FRLF category 1) and 'Son's/daughter's family' (FRLF category 3) are complementary. To find the number of families living with a family that contains a parent or child of one of the family members, users should consider both of these categories combined. Users are faced with a similar situation when looking at 'Grandparent's families' and 'Grandchild families' (FRLF categories 2 and 4). Any one of these categories used in isolation will not give a full count of family pairs bound by a specified relationship.

Further Information

The variable content for Relationship Between Families is available in the 2016 Census Dictionary.
For related information see data quality statements for Relationship in Household and Family Composition.

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.