Latest release
Family, Household and Income Unit Variables
Reference period

Introduction to the standard

The concept of household is fundamental in the production of social and labour statistics. The household is one of the basic units of social analysis and is the basis for data collection in many statistical collections. In the ABS, many social, labour and demographic surveys are household-based, including the Census of Population and Housing and the Labour Force Survey. The ABS 'Household composition' variable classifies households by the number of families or other people usually resident within them.

In its broadest sense a household is a group of people who live together as a single unit within a dwelling. Together with the family, it is one of the basic groups of social aggregation. Households and families are closely connected to each other and, although each concept is defined in different terms, in practice they often refer to the same set of people when applied to a particular dwelling. Information on households provides input to Australian household-based estimates. It also identifies various groups within the population, such as multiple family households or the number of people living alone. 'Household composition' can also be cross-classified with other variables, e.g. 'Total cash income'.

Back to top of the page