4442.0 - Family Characteristics and Transitions, Australia, 2006-07  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 06/06/2008  Reissue
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June 6, 2008
Embargoed 11:30am (AEST)
More couple families without dependent children

Most people who lived in a private dwelling in Australia in 2007 lived in a family household (87%), and one in 10 people lived alone, according to a new report on families from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The number of couple families without dependent children rose 30% over the last 10 years (from 44% of all families in 1997 to 48% in 2007). The proportion of families that were couple families with dependent children fell from 40% of all families in 1997 to 37% in 2007. There has also been a slight fall in the proportion of one parent families with dependent children (9% of all families in 2007).

The majority (65%) of adults (18 years and over) were in a couple relationship, either in a registered marriage or a de facto marriage. De facto marriage was more common for those aged under 35 years.

Other results from the survey include:

  • Of couple families with dependent children, 63% had both parents employed. About one-third (34%) of lone mothers with young children (aged under 5 years) were employed, mostly part-time. For lone mothers whose youngest child was a dependent student aged 15 to 24 years, 71% were employed, mostly full-time. There were 607,000 dependent children (12% of all dependent children) living in families without an employed parent.
  • Seven percent (7%) of families with children under 18 years were step or blended families. There were one million children aged under 18 years (22% of all children under 18 years) with a parent living in another household and 43% of these children had frequent contact (at least once a fortnight) with that parent. More than one in four children (28%) either rarely (less than once a year) or never saw the parent living elsewhere.
  • Fifteen percent (15%) of all adults reported that while they were children (under 18 years of age) their parents had either divorced or separated.
  • Just under half (47%) of young adults aged 18 to 24 years had never left home and 14% of adults 25 to 34 years had never left home, for financial reasons, or the convenience or enjoyment of living with their parents. Main reasons for moving out of home were to live with their partner or to get married, to study, or for work.

Results can be found in Family Characteristics and Transitions, Australia, 2007 (cat. no. 4442.0) available free of charge from the ABS website <www.abs.gov.au>. Electronic versions of all publication tables, and selected tables at the state and territory level, will be available on the ABS website from June 2008.