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This topic has been updated with 2016 Census data for all areas. What's this?

In Australia, 30% of households were made up of couples with children in 2016, compared with 33% in Greater Capital Cities.

Australia's household and family structure is one of the most important demographic indicators. It reveals the area's residential role and function, era of settlement and provides key insights into the level of demand for services and facilities as most are related to age and household types.

To continue building the story, Australia's Household Summary should be viewed in conjunction with Households with Children, Households without Children, Household Size, Age Structure and Dwelling Type.

Derived from the Census question:

‘What is the person’s relationship (to each other person in the household)?’


Household type
Australia - Total households (Enumerated)20162011Change
Households by typeNumber%Greater Capital Cities %Number%Greater Capital Cities %2011 to 2016
Couples with children2,687,37730.333.02,511,70030.732.8+175,677
Couples without children2,198,55124.823.62,072,76725.324.0+125,784
One parent families919,13310.410.4867,91310.610.6+51,220
Other families102,5631.21.397,7061.21.4+4,857
Group household354,9254.04.5320,9903.94.3+33,935
Lone person2,023,54422.821.71,888,54923.122.3+134,995
Other not classifiable household427,1244.84.5279,2503.43.6+147,874
Visitor only households148,4251.70.9142,8751.71.0+5,550

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing 2011 and 2016. Compiled and presented by .id , the population experts.

Household type, 2016
Household type, 2016 Lone person, Greater Capital Cities: 21.7% Group household, Greater Capital Cities: 4.5% Other families, Greater Capital Cities: 1.3% One parent families, Greater Capital Cities: 10.4% Couples without children, Greater Capital Cities: 23.6% Couples with children, Greater Capital Cities: 33.0% Lone person, Australia: 22.8% Group household, Australia: 4.0% Other families, Australia: 1.2% One parent families, Australia: 10.4% Couples without children, Australia: 24.8% Couples with children, Australia: 30.3%
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing, 2016 (Enumerated data)
Compiled and presented in by .id, the population experts.
Change in household type, 2011 to 2016
Change in household type, 2011 to 2016 Lone person, Australia: +134,995 Group household, Australia: +33,935 Other families, Australia: +4,857 One parent families, Australia: +51,220 Couples without children, Australia: +125,784 Couples with children, Australia: +175,677
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing, 2011 and 2016 (Enumerated data)
Compiled and presented in by .id, the population experts.

Dominant groups

Analysis of the household/family types in Australia in 2016 compared to Greater Capital Cities shows that there was a lower proportion of couple families with child(ren) as well as a similar proportion of one-parent families. Overall, 30.3% of total families were couple families with child(ren), and 10.4% were one-parent families, compared with 33.0% and 10.4% respectively for Greater Capital Cities.

There were a higher proportion of lone person households and a higher proportion of couples without children. Overall, the proportion of lone person households was 22.8% compared to 21.7% in Greater Capital Cities while the proportion of couples without children was 24.8% compared to 23.6% in Greater Capital Cities.

Emerging groups

The number of households in Australia increased by 679,892 between 2011 and 2016.

The largest changes in family/household types in Australia between 2011 and 2016 were:

  • Couples with children (+175,677 households)
  • Lone person (+134,995 households)
  • Couples without children (+125,784 households)
  • One parent families (+51,220 households)