Since the establishment of the Australian Institute of Families Studies (AIFS) in 1980, Australian families have undergone profound changes. AIFS is releasing a series of fact sheets to outline some of the changes in Australian families over the last four decades. This fact sheet focuses on some changes relating to Australian household and family forms.
This fact sheet draws on census data extensively and uses the definitions for household and family by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). ABS defines a household as 'one or more persons, at least one of whom is at least 15 years of age, usually resident in the same private dwelling' and a family as 'two or more persons, one of whom is at least 15 years of age, who are related by blood, marriage (registered or de facto), adoption, step or fostering, and who are usually resident in the same household' (ABS, 2016) (see Appendix for definitions of different forms of households and families used in the 2016 Census). A family household is a household with a family (or more than one family) and some households may not contain family members.