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Family, Household and Income Unit Variables
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The standards that form the basic suite of ABS variables on the family and the household are: 

  • Relationship in household.
  • Family composition.
  • Household composition.
  • Relationship between families.
  • Social marital status.
  • Registered marital status.
  • Income unit composition.

Summary of major differences between this and Standards for Statistics on Family Variables, 1995 (Cat. No. 1286.0)

Relationship in household

The standard recognised the two separate input classifications for 'Relationship in household', which are applied depending on the collection methodology used, in 2005. The standard emphasises the prime purpose of this variable as an input to family formation rather than as an output variable in its own right.

Family composition

The name of the variable was changed from 'Family type' to 'Family composition' in 2005. The classification was revised to reflect a more logical sequence of decision-making in family formation, however the resultant output remained fully compatible with 'Family type'. Appendix A of the 'Family composition' standard provides a full correspondence table between the two classifications.

Household composition

The name of the variable was changed from 'Household type' to 'Household composition'. The structure of the 'Household composition' classification was changed to allow integration with 'Family composition' as this better suits ABS output requirements. In particular users of data on families and households could now bring data together consistently, as the presence or absence of individuals unrelated to families in a household was no longer a core criterion at the base level of the classification.

Social marital status and Registered marital status

These standards underwent minor changes in 2005 to clarify the application of question modules and to maintain consistency with other standards in this suite.

Income unit composition

This standard was introduced in 2005 for use when a statistical unit is required analyse the levels and distribution of income. Income units are two or more people who pool their income and savings, or an individual with sole control over their income, consumption and savings. They are formed in similar fashion to families within households using 'Relationship in household' data. They have many characteristics in common with families.

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