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Family/household reference person indicator (RPIP)

Census of Population and Housing: Census dictionary
Reference period
2021

Definition

This variable identifies a household member as the reference person used in Census coding. The reference person is used to identify the relationships between usual residents of a household. Relationships are defined between the family reference person and all other family members. It has limited statistical value but is included for use in population and dwelling projection models.

Scope

Persons in family, group and lone person households

Categories

CodeCategory

Reference person in a family household

1

Reference person in primary family

2

Reference person in second family

3

Reference person in third family

Reference person in non-family household

4

Reference person in non-family household

Other

5

Other household member

Supplementary codes

@

Not applicable

V

Overseas visitor

Number of categories: 7

Not applicable (@) category comprises:

  • Persons in visitor only households
  • Persons in other non-classifiable households
  • Persons in non-private dwellings
  • Persons in 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 the person’s relationship to Person 1/Person 2?
    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.

      Relationships are based off a ‘reference person’. This is usually Person 1 on the Census form. Where this isn’t Person 1, a more appropriate person on the form is chosen during coding. This is based on age, marital status, and relationship considerations. A reference person must be a usual resident of the dwelling aged 15 years and over, and present on Census night. For example, an adult is chosen rather than a child, or in the event of multiple family households, additional reference people are chosen.

      In multiple family households, there is a reference person for each family. The reference person for the primary family is usually defined as the household reference person. The identification of a family reference person allows each family within a dwelling to be treated as a separate entity for tabulation purposes.

      For group households, the first person on the form who meets the criteria will become the reference person. For visitor only households and households with no person present aged 15 years and over, the household is considered 'non-classifiable' and no reference person is assigned.

      History and changes

      This variable was first reported in 1911 and every Census year since.

      No changes have been made in 2021.

      Data use considerations

      This variable is not an indication that a person is 'head of the household'.

      Related variables and glossary terms

      Other ABS sources