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In Australia 22% of the population over 15 did more than 14 hours of housework each week in 2011.

There has been increased interest in identifying, acknowledging and valuing the unpaid work that supports home and community life. The changing amount of time spent on unpaid housework in different Household Types and, particularly the distribution of this work within the household, can indicate the changing roles of males, females and older children in society. The level of unpaid domestic work in Australia may also be related to Household Income, as higher income households are able to outsource some of these tasks.

Derived from the Census question:

'In the last week did the person spend time doing unpaid domestic work for their household?'

Persons aged 15 years and over.

Unpaid domestic work
Australia - Persons aged 15+ (Usual residence)20112006Change
Hours spent on unpaid domestic workNumber%Greater Capital Cities %Number%Greater Capital Cities %2006 to 2011
Did unpaid domestic work12,148,31670.069.611,098,33069.769.3+1,049,986
Less than 5 hours3,882,98722.423.63,433,99021.622.8+448,997
Between 5 and 14 hours4,444,23625.625.53,876,56124.424.4+567,675
Between 15 and 29 hours2,074,99912.011.31,938,88312.211.5+136,116
30 hours or more1,746,09410.19.21,848,89611.610.5-102,802
Did no unpaid domestic work3,736,12921.522.23,209,20420.220.6+526,925
Not stated1,476,7138.58.21,610,54610.110.1-133,833

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing 2006 and 2011. Compiled and presented by .id , the population experts.

Unpaid domestic work, 2011
Unpaid domestic work, 2011 Not stated, Greater Capital Cities: 8.2% Did no unpaid domestic work, Greater Capital Cities: 22.2% 30 hours or more, Greater Capital Cities: 9.2% Between 15 and 29 hours, Greater Capital Cities: 11.3% Between 5 and 14 hours, Greater Capital Cities: 25.5% Less than 5 hours, Greater Capital Cities: 23.6% Not stated, Australia: 8.5% Did no unpaid domestic work, Australia: 21.5% 30 hours or more, Australia: 10.1% Between 15 and 29 hours, Australia: 12.0% Between 5 and 14 hours, Australia: 25.6% Less than 5 hours, Australia: 22.4%
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing, 2011 (Usual residence data)
Compiled and presented in profile.id by .id, the population experts.
Change in unpaid domestic work, 2006 to 2011
Change in unpaid domestic work, 2006 to 2011 Not stated, Australia: -133,833 Did no unpaid domestic work, Australia: +526,925 30 hours or more, Australia: -102,802 Between 15 and 29 hours, Australia: +136,116 Between 5 and 14 hours, Australia: +567,675 Less than 5 hours, Australia: +448,997
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing, 2006 and 2011 (Usual residence data)
Compiled and presented in profile.id by .id, the population experts.

Dominant groups

Analysis of the unpaid domestic work performed by the population in Australia in 2011 compared to Greater Capital Cities shows that there was a higher proportion of persons who performed 15 hours or more of unpaid domestic work per week.

Overall, 22.0% of the population reported performing 15 hours or more of unpaid domestic work, compared with 20.5% for Greater Capital Cities.

The major differences between the share of the population performing unpaid domestic work in Australia and Greater Capital Cities were:

  • A larger percentage of persons who did unpaid domestic work (total) (10.1% compared to 9.2%)
  • A larger percentage of persons who did 30 hours or more of domestic work (12.0% compared to 11.3%)
  • A smaller percentage of persons who did between 5 and 14 hours of domestic work (22.4% compared to 23.6%)
  • A smaller percentage of persons who did no unpaid domestic work (21.5% compared to 22.2%)

Emerging groups

The largest changes in the number of people performing unpaid domestic work in Australia, between 2006 and 2011 were those who:

  • Did unpaid domestic work (+1,049,986 persons)
  • Did between 5 and 14 hours of domestic work (+567,675 persons)
  • Did no unpaid domestic work (+526,925 persons)
  • Did less than 5 hours of domestic work (+448,997 persons)

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