What Is the Australian Family Structure?

Australian family structure may consist of couples living with or without children. According to the 2010 Measure of Australia's Progress from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 2006-20007, the most common family type in the country was a couple with no children. This family structure accounted for 40 percent of all families. Couples with dependent children made up 37 percent of all families.

Australian family structure has changed throughout the years as indicated in surveys by groups such as the ABS. While the recent survey by the group shows childless couples as the predominant family type, in 1997, couples with dependent children were most common, accounting for 40 percent of all families, while couples without children accounted for 35 percent of families. The trend in childless couples may be due to Australia's aging population.

The numbers of families with children and one parent has remained at a steady 10 percent between 1997 and 2007. More older women than older men are living alone, partly as a result of many women marrying older men and having longer life expectancies. In 2006-2007, the percentage of women aged 65 years and older living alone was higher than the percentage of men in the same age group (35 percent versus 17 percent). ABS predicts an increase in the numbers of individuals living alone between now and 2031.