Count of non-dependent children in family (CNDCF)

Latest release
Census of Population and Housing: Census dictionary
Reference period


This variable counts the number of non-dependent children in the family. It includes up to three non-dependent children who were temporarily absent from the household on Census Night.

A non-dependent child refers to a natural, adopted, step or foster child of a couple or lone parent usually resident in the household. They are aged 15 years and over and not a full-time student aged 15-24 years. They also have no identified partner or child of their own usually resident in the household.


Families with children in family households


Couple family with:
00No non-dependent children
01One non-dependent child
02Two non-dependent children
03Three non-dependent children
04Four non-dependent children
05Five non-dependent children
06Six or more non-dependent children
One parent family with:
07No non-dependent children
08One non-dependent child
09Two non-dependent children
10Three non-dependent children
11Four non-dependent children
12Five non-dependent children
13Six or more non-dependent children
Not applicable:
@@Not applicable

Number of categories: 15

Not applicable (@@) category comprises:

  • Couple families with no children
  • Other families
  • Non-family/Non-classifiable households
  • Unoccupied private dwellings
  • Non-private dwellings
  • Migratory, off-shore and shipping SA1s

Question(s) from the Census form

What is the person’s relationship to Person 1/Person 2?

What is Person 1's date of birth?

Is Person 1 attending a school or any other education institution?

For each person away, complete the following questions:

How this variable is created

This variable is created from responses to relationship in household, age, attendance at a educational institution and persons temporarily absent (PTA) questions on the Census form. 

It counts the number of non-dependent children in couple families and one parent families.

The Family composition (FMCF) variable is used to determine whether the family is a couple family or a one parent family. 

Non-dependent children present in the household are counted if they are part of the family and are classified as one of the following Relationship in household (RLHP) categories:

  • 51 Non-dependent natural, or adopted child
  • 52 Non-dependent step child
  • 53 Non-dependent foster child

Up to three non-dependent children who are temporarily absent from the household on Census Night can be counted from the variable Count of dependent students (15-24 years) temporarily absent (CDSAF).

History and changes

This variable was first introduced in 2011.

No changes have been made for 2021.

Data use considerations

Usual residents may not be included in the household’s Census form because they were away from the dwelling on Census Night. In this case they should be included in the Persons temporarily absent section of the form. This can occur in both family and group households. 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 people are unable to be included on the form.

Care should be taken when comparing this variable to other family data from within the ABS or external organisations or agencies. The definition of a family can differ between different statistical collections and may not match Census definitions.

This variable does not have a non-response rate as it is created during Census processing by using responses from more than one question on the Census form. 

Related variables and glossary terms

  • Count of dependent children in family (CDCF)
  • Count of non-dependent children in family temporarily absent (CNDAF) 
  • Relationship in household (RLHP)
  • Child
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