Fri 24 Apr 2015 2:45AM

Family type, household composition, extended family type, and other existing family and household data

SD Sophie Davies Public Seen by 251

Family and household data comes from questions about people’s relationships to a reference person, the people they live with, and where they live. The three main variables produced are family type, household composition, and extended family type. Other information includes child dependency status (whether a child is dependent or not), a dependent young person indicator, and grandparents in a parental role.

A limitation of census family data is that the nuclear family concept (which focuses on parents and children) it is based on may not accurately reflect some family structures, such as Māori whanau. This concept, however, is the standard way of defining families. If the family concept used for census data was to be reviewed, this would have to be done via a wider review of definitions and classifications.

The existing family and household census data provides some information on wider family structures. The household composition data indicates whether households contain multiple family nuclei or other people in addition to a family, and whether these families and other people are related to each other. The extended family type data indicates the number of generations present within an extended family in a household.

Our current recommendation relating to the existing range of family and household data

  • We recommend that the information from which family and household variables are derived is included in the 2018 Census.

  • We recommend continuing to produce the current range of family and household information from the 2018 Census.

More detailed discussion on the existing range of family and household variables is contained in pages 42-45 of the preliminary view.

Information on family type, household composition, and extended family type from the 2013 Census is available here.


Vivienne (Facilitator) Wed 29 Apr 2015 2:46AM

Kia ora, hello, and welcome to the 2018 Census discussion on family type. I’m Vivienne from Statistics New Zealand, and I will be facilitating this and the discussion on step-families.

We want to know what information people need on families in general. So thank you for joining us and I look forward to your contributions to the discussion.


Reuben Jackson Mon 4 May 2015 1:12AM

I hope this is the right section to give feedback. I found one of the questions last year difficult to answer regarding something like "how many children who ordinary live in this home"... in a shared care situation, 2 homes may claim the same child. I assume the purpose of the question is for school zoning etc. Perhaps it would be important to collate a percentage for how often each adult and child live in the home on an annual basis.


Reuben Jackson Mon 4 May 2015 1:22AM

A statistic that I would really like access to is "What percentage of children in new zealand don't live with 2 birth parents in the same home?" Or "what percentage of children live in 2 homes"? This data is vital for schools and other government departments to function better. There are 3/27 children than i am aware of in my young son's class who live in 2 homes. Some learning resources are not inclusive of these situations. Also, my school had chosen only to notify a single parent of school closures, even though these children have 2 parents that needed notifying. Better statistics on the makeup of families would help these situations. 11% is a significant percentage for a 7 year old group. I would guess that perhaps 15%-20% of teenage aged children live in 2 homes, but how would we possibly know?


Ella Anais Mon 4 May 2015 1:48AM

I think the concept of the "Nuclear family" is a really good starting point to engage critically with this topic. I know many families - with and without children - who practise non-monogamous relationships and a huge part of destigmatising that would be acknowledging it exists! I would love to see this as part of Census forms instead of assuming sexual/romantic relationships will be monogamous between two people.


Vivienne (Facilitator) Mon 4 May 2015 2:48AM

Thanks and welcome, @reubenjackson . We do count how many children are usual residents of a dwelling, but do acknowledge the need for more information on shared care. This is why we've included a discussion on second address for the 2018 Census. You make really good points on the need for data on children who live in two homes so I encourage you to make a submission on this topic when the submissions process starts on 18 May. We may not be able to deliver all the points you raised (e.g., percentage of how often each child live in a home), but your input on data that would be useful for schools and government agencies would be very helpful.


Vivienne (Facilitator) Mon 4 May 2015 2:56AM

Thanks and welcome, @ellaanais . We do acknowledge the limitations of a nuclear family based count, but we are limited by a complex family coding process for the census.

Could you please provide more information on possible uses of data on non-monogamous relationships? Because if it is substantial and potentially helpful for quite a few families, we could pass on the information to smaller household surveys within the organisation.


Vivienne (Facilitator) Sun 24 May 2015 11:05PM

Please note that formal submissions are now being accepted. Please submit your position on family and household topics here. Formal submissions are open until 30 June.