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

1,483,438 people in Australia provided unpaid care for children other than their own in 2016.

The role of unpaid childcare in Australia is determined by many different factors. For example areas with high levels of unpaid child care may have a dominance of single income families with one significant earner, or there could be a lack of provision of paid child care in the area. The level to which people care for others children can also indicate the role of extended family (eg. grandparents caring for grandchildren, family day care).

The role of unpaid child care is a complex one so this topic should be viewed in conjunction with several others, including Household Type, Employment, Household Income and Educational Attendance.

Derived from the Census question:

'In the last two weeks did the person spend time looking after a child, without pay?', which specifically asks respondents to differentiate between caring for their own children and caring for others children.

Persons aged 15 years and over.

Unpaid childcare
Australia - Persons aged 15+ (Usual residence)20162011Change
Unpaid child careNumber%Greater Capital Cities %Number%Greater Capital Cities %2011 to 2016
Provided unpaid child care (all)5,259,41227.627.94,827,39527.827.7+432,017
Cared for own child/ren3,775,97419.820.43,426,10819.719.9+349,866
Cared for other child/ren1,338,4867.06.81,237,9507.16.9+100,536
Cared for own child/ren and other child/ren144,9520.80.7163,3370.90.9-18,385
No unpaid child care provided12,194,39764.164.711,181,41064.464.8+1,012,987
Not stated1,583,4918.37.51,352,3517.87.5+231,140

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

Unpaid childcare, 2016
Unpaid childcare, 2016 Not stated, Greater Capital Cities: 7.5% No unpaid child care provided, Greater Capital Cities: 64.7% Cared for own child/ren and other child/ren, Greater Capital Cities: 0.7% Cared for other child/ren, Greater Capital Cities: 6.8% Cared for own child/ren, Greater Capital Cities: 20.4% Provided unpaid child care (all), Greater Capital Cities: 27.9% Not stated, Australia: 8.3% No unpaid child care provided, Australia: 64.1% Cared for own child/ren and other child/ren, Australia: 0.8% Cared for other child/ren, Australia: 7.0% Cared for own child/ren, Australia: 19.8% Provided unpaid child care (all), Australia: 27.6%
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing, 2016 (Usual residence data)
Compiled and presented in profile.id by .id, the population experts.
Change in unpaid childcare, 2011 to 2016
Change in unpaid childcare, 2011 to 2016 Not stated, Australia: +231,140 No unpaid child care provided, Australia: +1,012,987 Cared for own child/ren and other child/ren, Australia: -18,385 Cared for other child/ren, Australia: +100,536 Cared for own child/ren, Australia: +349,866 Provided unpaid child care (all), Australia: +432,017
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing, 2011 and 2016 (Usual residence data)
Compiled and presented in profile.id by .id, the population experts.

Dominant groups

Analysis of the unpaid child care provided by the population in Australia in 2016 compared to Greater Capital Cities shows that there was a similar proportion of people who provided unpaid child care either to their own or to other children. Overall, 27.6% of the population provided unpaid child care, compared with 27.9% for Greater Capital Cities.

There were no major differences between Australia and Greater Capital Cities in 2016.

Emerging groups

The number of people who provided unpaid child care for their own and/or other people's children in Australia increased by 432,017 between 2011 and 2016.

The largest changes in the number of people performing unpaid child care in Australia, between 2011 and 2016 were those who:

  • Provided no unpaid child care (+1,012,987 persons)
  • Cared for their own child/ren (+349,866 persons)
  • Cared for other child/ren (+100,536 persons)
  • Cared for their own child/ren and other child/ren (-18,385 persons)

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