6224.0.55.001 - Labour Force, Australia: Labour Force Status and Other Characteristics of Families, June 2016 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 12/01/2017   
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As noted in What is a Family?, couple families are based around a couple relationship between two people who are either married or in a de facto partnership and usually resident in the same household. It includes couples with or without dependants, and same-sex partners.

In June 2016, there were:

  • 5.7 million total couple families (up from 5.5 million in 2015).
  • 2.5 million opposite sex couple families with dependants (including children under 15 and dependent students aged 15–24 years) (representing little change from 2015).
  • 3.2 million couple families without children under 15 or dependent students (up from 3.1 million in 2015).
  • 52,400 same-sex couple families (up from 48,000 in 2015). (Datacube 1)
  • 1.6 million couple families with children or dependent students where both parents were employed (representing little change from 2015). (Datacube 9)

Graph Image for TOTAL COUPLE FAMILIES, Employment status-By age of youngest dependent child, 2016

Footnote(s): Does not include persons with undetermined labour force status

Source(s): TOTAL COUPLE FAMILIES, Employment status-By age of youngest dependent child, 2016-6224_0_JUNE_2016_GRAPH_2


The proportion of couple families with dependants in which one or both parents were employed was 94% in June 2016. The majority of couple families with dependants had both parents employed (64%), of which 1.3 million had at least one child aged less than 15 years. (Datacubes 1, 3)

There were 460,200 couple families which had a youngest dependent aged 15–24 years living with them; this represented 8% of all couple families. (Datacube 8)

In 2016, the wife/partner was employed in 69% of all couple families with dependants. As in previous years, the percentage of mothers employed full-time in couple families increased with the age of the youngest dependant, from 22% for mothers of 0–4 year olds to 43% of mothers of dependants aged 15–24 years. In 38% of couple families with dependants, the mother was employed part-time. This pattern has remained consistent from 2012-2016. (Datacube 7)

Graph Image for PERCENTAGE OF MOTHERS IN TOTAL COUPLE FAMILIES, Employed full-time-By age of youngest dependent


In June 2016, 56% of couple families had no dependants. (Datacubes 1,10)