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Family blending (FBLF)

Census of Population and Housing: Census dictionary
Reference period
2021

Definition

This variable classifies couple families with children living in private dwellings, based on the parent-child relationships within them.

Scope

Couple families with children

Categories

CodeCategory

1

Intact family with no other children present

2

Step family with no other children present

3

Blended family with no other children present

4

Intact family with other children present

5

Step family with other children present

6

Blended family with other children present

7

Other couple family with other children only

@

Not applicable

Number of categories: 8

Not applicable (@) category comprises:

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

Intact, step and blended families can also include other children who are not the natural children of either parent in the couple, such as:

  • Foster children
  • A grandchild being raised by their grandparents

A child who is either the natural child of one partner but not of the other, or who is reported as being the step child of both parents is classified as a step child.

Family type definitions

Intact

An intact family is a couple family containing at least one child who is the natural or adopted child of both partners in the couple. It does not include a child who is the step child of either partner in the couple.

Step

A step family is a couple family containing one or more children, at least one of whom is the step child of one of the partners in the couple, and none of whom is the natural or adopted child of both members of the couple.

Blended

A blended family is a couple family containing two or more children, of whom at least one is the natural or adopted child of both members of the couple, and at least one is the step child of either partner in the couple.

Other families

Other couple family refers to families containing one or more children where no child is the natural or adopted child of either partner in the couple; and no child is the step child of either parent in the couple. Examples include:

  • couples with foster children of any age
  • otherwise related or unrelated children aged under 15 years
  • grandchildren being raised by their grandparents

Family blending category definitions

1. Intact family with no other children present

A couple family containing:

  • at least one child who is the natural or adopted child of both partners in the couple
  • no child who is the step child of either partner in the couple
  • no other children (e.g. otherwise related or unrelated children, such as foster children or grandchildren being raised by their grandparents)
2. Step family with no other children present

A couple family containing:

  • one or more children, with at least one a step child of one of the partners in the couple  
  • no children who are natural or adopted children of both members of the couple
  • no other children (e.g. otherwise related or unrelated children, such as foster children or grandchildren being raised by their grandparents)
3. Blended family with no other children present 

A couple family containing:

  • two or more children, with at least one child a natural or adopted child of both members of the couple
  • at least one child that is a step child of either partner in the couple
  • no other children (e.g. otherwise related or unrelated children, such as foster children or grandchildren being raised by their grandparents)
4. Intact family with other children present

A couple family containing:

  • two or more children, with at least one child a natural or adopted child of both partners in the couple
  • no child is a step child of either partner in the couple
  • at least one is an other child (e.g. an otherwise related or unrelated child, such as a foster child, or a grandchild being raised by their grandparents)
5. Step family with other children present

A couple family containing:

  • Two or more children, with at least one child the step child of one of the partners in the couple
  • No child that is natural or adopted of both members of the couple
  • At least one is an other child (e.g. an otherwise related or unrelated child, such as a foster child or a grandchild being raised by his or her grandparents)
6. Blended family with other children present 

A couple family containing:

  • three or more children, with at least one child a natural or adopted child of both members of the couple
  • at least one step child of either partner in the couple
  • at least one other child (e.g. an otherwise related or unrelated child, such as a foster child, or a grandchild being raised by their grandparents)
7. Other couple family with other children only
  • a couple family containing one or more children, all of whom are neither the natural children of either partner in the couple, nor the step children of both partners in the couple.

Question(s) from the Census form

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

    What is Person 2's relationship to Person 1?
    What is Person 2's relationship to Person 1?

    Examples of other relationships: Son-in-law, Grand-daughter, Uncle, Boarder.

    More information

    Husband or wife of Person 1

    De facto partner of Person 1

    Child of Person 1

    Stepchild of Person 1

    Brother or sister of Person 1

    Unrelated flatmate or co-tenant of Person 1

    Other relationship to Person 1 (please specify)

      More information

      Additional information relating to the question on: What is Person 2's relationship to Person 1?

      More information

      What is Person 2's relationship to Person 1?

      Examples of other relationships: Son-in-law, Grand-daughter, Uncle, Boarder.

      More information

      If more than one response applies, select only the option that shows the relationship that most closely applies.

      For each person away, complete the following questions:

      The Census asks a number of questions for usual residents who were temporarily absent on Census night, these are known as persons temporarily absent (PTA) questions. The PTA questions below are used to derive this variable.

        List the people who were away on the night of Tuesday 10 August 2021 but usually live in this dwelling.
        List the people who were away on the night of Tuesday 10 August 2021 but usually live in this dwelling.

        Remember that people listed here will need to complete a Census form for where they were in Australia on Census night.

        People away

        List Person Away 1 - Any person who usually lives in this dwelling, but was away.

        Add another person away

          Example

          Family blending example - Person 4 Surname

          Example

          List the people who were away on the night of Tuesday 10 August 2021 but usually live in this dwelling.

          Remember that people listed here will need to complete a Census form for where they were in Australia on Census night.

          People away

          Person 4 Surname - Any person who usually lives in this dwelling, but was away.

          Add another person awayList the people who were away on the night of Tuesday 10 August 2021 but usually live in this dwelling.

          Remember that people listed here will need to complete a Census form for where they were in Australia on Census night.

          People away

          Person 4 Surname - Any person who usually lives in this dwelling, but was away.

          Add another person away
            What is Person 4's date of birth?
            What is Person 4's date of birth?

            If date of birth is not known, please give age.

            More information

            Date of birth

            Day Month Year

            OR

            Age

              More information

              Additional information relating to the question on: What is Person 4's date of birth?

              More information

              What is Person 4's date of birth?

              If date of birth is not known, please give age.

              More information

              It is important to note:
              • Date of birth is the date that the person was born.
              • Age is required only if the person's date of birth is not known. Please report age at Census night – Tuesday 10 August 2021.

              If the person is less than one year old and their date of birth is not known, enter '0' in the age box.
                What is Person 4's relationship to Person 1/Person 2?
                What is Person 4's relationship to Person 1/Person 2?

                Examples of other relationships: Son-in-law, Grand-daughter, Uncle, Boarder.

                More information

                Husband or wife of Person 1

                De facto partner of Person 1

                Child of both Person 1 and Person 2

                Child of Person 1 only

                Child of Person 2 only

                Unrelated flatmate or co-tenant of Person 1

                Other relationship to Person 1 (please specify)

                  More information

                  Additional information relating to the question on: What is Person 4's relationship to Person 1/Person 2?

                  More information

                  What is Person 4's relationship to Person 1/Person 2?

                  Examples of other relationships: Son-in-law, Grand-daughter, Uncle, Boarder.

                  More information

                  If more than one response applies, select the option that shows the relationship that most closely applies.

                  How this variable is created

                  This variable is derived from the Relationship in household and Persons temporarily absent questions on the Census form. Temporarily absent children are taken into consideration when classifying families.

                  Families are only derived for occupied private dwellings where a family composition can be determined from the relationship within the household.

                  History and changes

                  This variable was first introduced in 2006.

                  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.

                  Reporting relationships in respect to ‘Person 1’ on the Census form can make it difficult to establish the relationships within a household, especially dwellings containing blended families. In some cases, further information is used during processing to help determine relationships. This includes:

                  • Surname or family name
                  • Usual residence
                  • Marital status

                  If a child is listed on the Census form as 'Person 2' and both parents are usual residents, the response 'Child of both Person 1 and Person 2' is not available in the relationship question for 'Person 2'. In these cases an attempt is made to establish whether the child was a step-child or child of both parents using information such as surname. Despite these attempts there may be a small proportion of children coded to 'step-child' who may be a child of both parents. There may also be cases where the child of reference person (and a step-child of the partner) is incorrectly coded as a child of both parents.

                  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.

                  Related variables and glossary terms

                  Other ABS sources