Latest release

Grandparent families (FMGF)

Census of Population and Housing: Census dictionary
Reference period
2021

Definition

This variable classifies families into different family types depending on the composition of the family. It differs from the standard Family composition (FMCF) variable because it recognises grandparent-grandchild relationships.

Grandparent families are recognised when there is a grandparent-grandchild relationship present and no parent-child relationship present in a family.

This variable can only be used with other related grandparent/grandchild variables. These variables are:

  • Child type (including grandchildren) (CTGP)
  • Relationship in household (including grandchildren) (RLGP)

It cannot be used with standard family variables.

Scope

Families with grandchildren

Categories

CodeCategory

1

Couple family with grandchildren

11

Couple family with grandchildren under 15 (with or without other children)

12

Couple family with no grandchildren under 15 and with dependent student grandchildren (with or without other children)

13

Couple family with no grandchildren under 15, no dependent student and with non-dependent grandchildren (with or without other children)

2

Lone grandparent

21

Lone grandparent with grandchildren under 15 (with or without other children)

22

Lone grandparent with no grandchildren under 15 and with dependent student grandchildren (with or without other children)

23

Lone grandparent with no grandchildren under 15, no dependent student grandchildren and with non-dependent grandchildren (with or without other children)

Not applicable:

@@

Not applicable

Number of categories:

  • One digit level: 2
  • Two digit level: 7

Not applicable (@@) category comprises:

  • Families with no grandchildren
  • 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.

      What is the person’s date of birth and age?

        What is the person’s date of birth and age?
        What is Person 1's date of birth?

        If date of birth is not known, please select 'Don't know date of birth' and provide Person 1's age.

        More information

        Day Month Year

        OR

        Don't know date of birth

        Age

          More information

          Additional information relating to the question: What is the person’s date of birth and age?

          More information

          What is Person 1's date of birth?

          If date of birth is not known, please select 'Don't know date of birth' and provide Person 1's 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.

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

            Is Person 1 attending a school or any other education institution?
            Is Person 1 attending a school or any other education institution?
            Include tertiary education and vocational education and training providers (e.g. TAFE and private training providers).

            Include external, online or correspondence study.

            More information

            No

            Yes, full-time student

            Yes, part-time student

              More information

              Additional information relating to the question: Is Person 1 attending a school or any other education institution?

              More information

              Is Person 1 attending a school or any other education institution?
              Include tertiary education and vocational education and training providers (e.g. TAFE and private training providers).

              Include external, online or correspondence study.

              More information
              Select full-time student or part-time student based on whether the institution considers the person to be a full-time or part-time student.

              For a person who attends only hobby or recreational courses, select 'No'.

              If the person is currently studying at home because of lockdowns or other COVID-related reasons, but usually attends a school or other education institution, select one of the 'Yes' options.

              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
                  Grandparent families example - Person 4 Surname
                  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 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.
                        Is Person 4 a full-time student?
                        Is Person 4 a full-time student?

                        More information

                        No

                        Yes

                          More information

                          Additional information relating to the question on: Is Person 4 a full-time student?

                          More information

                          Is Person 4 a full-time student?

                          More information

                          Select 'Yes' if the institution considers the person to be a full-time student. Select 'No' if the institution considers the person to be a part-time student.

                          For a person who attends only hobby or recreational courses, select 'No'.

                          For a child who attends a preschool or preschool program (including early childhood education and centre based day care providers):
                          • Select 'Yes' if they attend at least 15 hours a week on average.
                          • Select 'No' if they attend less than 15 hours a week on average.
                            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 created using responses to the relationship in household, age, attendance at an education institution and persons temporarily absent (PTA) questions on the Census form.

                              It only counts families where there is a grandparent-grandchild relationship present and no parent-child relationship present in a family. All other families are coded to not applicable.

                              When classifying families into different grandparent family types the following information is used:

                              • Relationship in household (including grandchildren) (RLGP) variable for family members present in the household on Census night
                              • PTA questions for family members who were temporarily absent from the household on Census night

                              The table below shows how grandparent-grandchild relationships are coded differently between the Grandparent families (FMGF) and the standard Family composition (FMCF) variable.

                              Scenario

                              How it would be coded in FMGF

                              How it would be coded in FMCF

                              Grandparents who are a couple with a grandchild under 15 years old

                              11 Couple family with grandchildren under 15 (with or without other children)

                              2 Couple family with children

                              Grandparents who are a couple with a grandchild who is a dependent student (aged 15-24 years)

                              12 Couple family with no grandchildren under 15 and with dependent student grandchildren (with or without other children)

                              1 Couple family with no children

                              Grandparents who are a couple with a non-dependent grandchild

                              13 Couple family with no grandchildren under 15, no dependent student and with non-dependent grandchildren (with or without other children)

                              2 Couple family with no children

                              Lone grandparent with a grandchild under 15 years old

                              21 Lone grandparent with grandchildren under 15 (with or without other children)

                              3 One parent family

                              Lone grandparent with a grandchild who is a dependent student (aged 15-24 years)

                              22 Lone grandparent with no grandchildren under 15 and with dependent student grandchildren (with or without other children)

                              3 One parent family

                              Lone grandparents with a non-dependent grandchild

                              23 Lone grandparent with no grandchildren under 15, no dependent student grandchildren and with non-dependent grandchildren (with or without other children)

                              9 Other family

                               

                              History and changes

                              This variable was first introduced in 2011 to enable grandparent families to be identified more easily within the data.

                              No changes have been made for 2021.

                              Data use considerations

                              During Census family coding, all children under 15 years of age are allocated a nominal parent if their parent/s are not present in the household on Census night, or if the parent/s were not reported as temporarily absent. Nominal parents can be the child's sibling, grandparent, aunt/uncle or other related individuals

                              Grandparent families are recognised where a grandparent/s is allocated as the nominal parent or where there is only a grandparent-grandchild relationship present in the family (and no parent-child relationship). When a parent is temporarily absent from the family and their relationship to the child cannot be determined, the relationship cannot be coded. This can result in a small number of children being reported incorrectly as grandchildren when a parent is simply absent on Census night.

                              Related variables and glossary terms

                              • Child type (including grandchildren) (CTGP)
                              • Relationship in household (including grandchildren) (RLGP)
                              • Family

                              Other ABS sources