Household composition (HHCD)
This variable describes the type of household within a dwelling. It indicates if a family is present on Census Night and if other unrelated household members are present.
Occupied private dwellings
|1||One family household|
|11||One family household with only family members present|
|110||One family household with only family members present|
|12||One family household with non-family members present|
|120||One family household with non-family members present|
|2||Multiple family household|
|21||Two family household|
|211||Two family household with only family members present|
|212||Two family household with non-family members present|
|22||Three or more family household|
|221||Three or more family household with only family members present|
|222||Three or more family household with non-family members present|
|31||Lone person household|
|310||Lone person household|
Number of categories:
- One digit level: 4
- Two digit level: 8
- Three digit level: 11
Not applicable (@@@) category comprises:
- 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:
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.
How this variable is created
This variable is derived from the Relationship in household and Persons temporarily absent questions on the Census form.
Family and Household structures are identified during Census data processing and are created around a family or household reference person. Persons identified as temporarily absent on Census Night are taken into consideration when deriving Household composition. This allows for identification of some family types and helps distinguish between lone person and group households.
History and changes
This variable was first used in the 2006 Census. Between 1986 and 2001 some information had been collected through the variable Household type. Other information on families was also collected prior to 1986, though the older variables did not contain as much detail as what has been collected in recent years.
No changes have been made for 2021.
Data use considerations
Across the community, a wide variety of living arrangements exist with complex family structures. The quality of family data in the Census is partly dependent on people’s ability to describe these relationships within the constraints of the generalised questionnaire format required by a Census. Reporting relationships in respect of 'Person 1' only, can make it difficult to establish all the relationships which exist in a household, or to identify whether more than one family is living in the dwelling.
A maximum of three families can be coded to a household. Lone person households can contain visitors. Visitor only households can contain overseas visitors.
The 'Other not classifiable' category consists mainly of occupied dwellings where a form was not received (3.8% of all occupied private dwellings). It also includes households:
- which the ABS Field Officer determined were occupied on Census Night but where the ABS Field Officer could not make contact
- that contained only persons aged under 15 years
- which could not be classified elsewhere in this classification because there was insufficient information on the Census 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 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.