Count of persons in family (CPRF)

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


This variable counts the number of people in a family.

It includes other related people such as: 

  • people outside of the primary couple relationship
  • people outside of a lone parent-child relationship
  • non blood relatives (e.g. in-laws).


Families in family households


2Two persons in family
3Three persons in family
4Four persons in family
5Five persons in family
6Six or more persons in family
@Not applicable

Number of categories: 6

Not applicable (@) category comprises:

  • Unrelated persons living in family households
  • 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?

For each person away, complete the following questions:

How this variable is created

This variable is derived from the following variables:

  • Relationship in household (RLHP)
  • Count of persons temporarily absent family (CPAF)

It includes up to three persons who were temporarily absent from the family on Census Night.

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 persons temporarily absent from family (CPAF)
  • Relationship in household (RLHP)
  • Family
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