1 The statistics in this publication were compiled from data collected in the Multi-Purpose Household Survey (MPHS), which was conducted throughout Australia in the 2012-13 financial year as a supplement to the Monthly Population Survey (MPS). The MPHS is designed to provide statistics annually for labour, social and economic topics.
2 The topics collected in the 2012-13 MPHS, in addition to household and person socio-demographic characteristics, were:
- Family Characteristics
- Family Transitions and History
- Barriers and Incentives to Labour Force Participation
- Retirement and Retirement Intentions (including Method of Meeting Current Living Costs)
- Household Use of Information Technology
- Patient Experience
- Crime Victimisation
- Income (Personal, Partner's, Household).
3 For all topics, information on labour force characteristics, education, income and other demographics are also available.
4 Data from both Family topics are presented in this publication. Data for other MPHS topics collected in 2012-13 have been released in separate publications.
5 The Family Characteristics topic has been collected before, in 1982, 1992, 1997, 2003, 2006-07 and 2009-10. The Family Transitions topic was collected in 2006-07.
6 The publication Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) contains information about survey and sample design, scope, coverage and population benchmarks relevant to the MPS, and consequently the MPHS. This publication contains definitions of demographic and labour force characteristics, and information about telephone interviewing.
7 The scope of the 2012-13 Family Characteristics and Transitions Survey (FCTS) included all usual residents in private dwellings, except:
- diplomatic personnel of overseas governments, and their dependants, excluded from censuses and surveys of Australian residents
- members of non-Australian defence forces stationed in Australia, and their dependants
- persons living in non-private dwellings such as hotels, university residences, students at boarding schools, patients in hospitals, residents of homes (e.g. retirement homes, homes for persons with disabilities, women's shelters), and inmates of prisons.
8 The survey was conducted in urban, rural, remote and very remote areas in all states and territories. People living in Indigenous Community Frame (ICF) Collection Districts (CDs) were excluded.
9 Coverage rules are applied to ensure that each person is associated with only one dwelling and hence has only one chance of selection in the survey. For example, a child with a natural parent living elsewhere is associated with the dwelling in which they usually reside. See Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) for more details.
10 ABS interviewers conducted personal interviews by either telephone or at selected dwellings, from July 2012 to June 2013. Each month a sample of dwellings were selected for the MPHS from the responding households in the last rotation group for the MPS. In these dwellings, after the MPS had been fully completed for each person, a usual resident aged 15 years and over was selected at random and asked the additional MPHS questions in a personal interview. Information was collected using Computer Assisted Interviewing (CAI), whereby responses are recorded directly onto an electronic questionnaire in a notebook computer.
11 The Family Characteristics topic collected information from the randomly selected person about the household and about every person in the household, including all children in the household. The Family Transitions and History topic questions were only asked about the randomly selected persons aged 18 years and over, with some sub-topics having additional age restrictions. Therefore, the sample for Family Characteristics is much larger than for Family Transitions and History. There were 36,700 person records for the Family Characteristics topic, and 14,600 person records for the Family Transitions and History topic.
12 Where the randomly selected respondent was aged 15-17 years, and a parent/guardian or other responsible adult aged 18 years and over was resident in the household, permission was sought from the parent or other adult to interview the young person. Regardless of whether permission was granted, details for Family Characteristics and household income (excluding the income of the selected person) were collected from the parent or other adult.
13 The survey collected information about parent-child relationships beyond the usual residence of the child. The survey collected information about resident children aged 0-17 years in the household who had a natural parent living in another household. In addition, the survey identified whether respondents were parents who had natural children aged 0-17 years living elsewhere with the child's other natural parent.
14 After taking into account sample loss, the response rate for the Family Characteristics and Transitions survey was 77%. In total, information was collected from 15,104 fully responding households.