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Household composition (HHCD)

Census of Population and Housing: Census dictionary
Reference period
2021

Definition

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.

Scope

Occupied private dwellings

Categories

1One family household  
 11One family household with only family members present
  110One family household with only family members present
 12One family household with non-family members present
  120One family household with non-family members present
2Multiple family household  
 21Two family household
  211Two family household with only family members present
  212Two family household with non-family members present
 22Three or more family household
  221Three or more family household with only family members present
  222Three or more family household with non-family members present
3Non-family household  
 31Lone person household
  310Lone person household
 32Group household
  320Group household
4Non-classifiable  
 41Visitors only
  410Visitors only
 42Other non-classifiable
  420Other non-classifiable
Not applicable   
@@@Not applicable  

 

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?

    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

          Household composition 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 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.

                  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. 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.

                  Related variables and glossary terms

                  Other ABS sources