Latest release

Family number (FNOF)

Census of Population and Housing: Census dictionary
Reference period
2021

Definition

This variable categorises multiple families in a household as either the primary, second or third family. Families in a one family household are always classified as the primary family.

Scope

Families in family households

Categories

CodeCategory

1

Primary family

2

Second family

3

Third family

@

Not applicable

Number of categories: 4

Not applicable (@) category comprises:

  • 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 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.

      How this variable is created

      This variable is derived from the Relationship in household question on the Census form.

      In a multiple family household, a maximum of three families can be identified. In cases where more than three families are identified in a household, the first three families are coded. The other persons are classified as either related family members of the primary family or non-family members.

      Where there is more than one family in a household on Census night, the family with dependent children is designated as the primary family. If there was more than one family, and no children were present in the household, then the first family identified on the Census form becomes the primary family.

      History and changes

      This variable was first introduced in 1971, to replace the previously used Family group (FMGF) variable. The mnemonic used has changed several times.

      No changes have been made for 2021.

      Data use considerations

      The maximum of three families in a household may have only a small effect on the total families numbers overall. However, the impact may be more significant among population groups whom live in multi-generational households or with large numbers of extended family members.

      The term 'Primary family' is an ABS term that is used to aid coding of household relationships. This should not be misinterpreted as signifying that this is the main family in the household or the family that owns the house or for another reason, other than for ABS relationship coding purposes.

      Related variables and glossary terms

      Other ABS sources