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HOUSEHOLD AND FAMILY CHARACTERISTICS
Relationship in household and family composition are discussed below. More information on the other topics is available in Demographic and socio-economic characteristics. A full list of output data items are available from the Downloads tab of this publication.
Household level estimates are available from this survey for household size, type and composition, geographic location, dwelling characteristics, income and SEIFA characteristics of the area in which the dwelling is located. Selected items are discussed below.
Households are allocated to categories of the 'Household composition' classification on the basis of:
The standard 'Household composition' classification comprises the following categories:
This refers to the composition of the household, based on the information about the residents of the household provided by the responsible adult (ARA). Output categories are:
Number of persons in household
This refers to a count of persons who are usual residents of the household dwelling and members of the household to which the respondent belongs.
Additional output items are available including:
Additional calculations can be made using available data on the All Persons level.
Number of daily smokers in household
As reported by the selected NHS adult respondent - see Tobacco smoking.
As reported by the selected adult respondent - see Income sources.
Differences in household types and compositions, and their requirements relative to income, can be taken into account by the application of equivalence scales. These scales are a set of ratios which, when applied to the income of different household or income unit types, produce standardised estimates of income which reflect the households' relative well-being. The modified OECD equivalence scale (1994) was used.
Equivalised income is derived by calculating an equivalence factor and then dividing income by that factor. The equivalence factor is built up by allocating points to each person in the household unit and summing those points. One point is allocated to the first adult in the unit, 0.5 points for each other person aged 15 years and over, and 0.3 points for each person aged less than 15 years. For example:
Equivalised income is available in dollar amounts and deciles.
Income deciles and quintiles
Income deciles are groupings that result from ranking either all households or all persons in the population in ascending order according to some characteristic, such as income, and then dividing the population into ten equal groups, each comprising 10% of the estimated population. The first decile contains the bottom 10%, the second decile contains the next 10%, and so on. Quintiles are derived by adding together the first and second decile for the first quintile, third and fourth decile for the second quintile, etc.
To assist in the use and interpretation of income deciles or quintiles at the person or household level, it is necessary to exclude income which is not stated or not known. If one or more of the contributing person records in a household has a value of 'not stated' or 'not known', then household income and derived income deciles are set to '98. Not stated' or '99. Not known' as it is not possible to determine an accurate value. Care should be taken to exclude these codes when categorising higher income values, and when calculating means, medians and other summary statistics.
For 2011-12, the dollar ranges covered by deciles in all income items can be found at Appendix 5: Income deciles.
Socio-economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFAs)
From information collected in the Census of Population and Housing, the ABS has developed indexes to allow ranking of regions/areas, providing a method of determining the level of social and economic well-being in that region. There are four indexes:
Both the 2006 and 2011 versions of SEIFA are available for use. It is emphasised, however, that these indexes relate to the area in which the survey respondent lived, and are not necessarily indicative of an individual respondent's socio-economic status. The 2006 index scores have been mapped to the CD and SLA levels on both a National and State basis. The 2011 index scores have been mapped to the SA1 and SA2 levels on both a National and State basis. As the methodology for defining SEIFA has not changed between 2006 and 2011, comparisons between estimates based on both SEIFAs are both possible and reasonable.
For further information about the 2006 indexes, see Information Paper: Census of Population and Housing - Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA), 2006 (cat. no. 2039.0). For further information about the 2011 indexes, see Census of Population and Housing: Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA), Australia, 2011 (cat. no. 2033.0.55.001).
The Index of Relative Socio-economic Disadvantage is the SEIFA index most frequently used for analysis of health characteristics. AHS publications up to and including Updated Results (4364.0.55.003) use the 2006 Index of Relative Socio-economic Disadvantage. AHS publications from Physical Activity (4364.0.55.004) onwards use the 2011 Index of Relative Socio-economic Disadvantage.
SEIFAs are commonly used to group populations into deciles or quintiles of a particular index. In the AHS, this enables comparisons to be made between the health characteristics, for example, of people living in less advantaged areas with those in more advantaged areas.
SEIFA deciles/quintiles can be derived in two ways - area-based and population-based.
For the AHS, SEIFA decile items have been derived for Area-based groupings. Because all CDs/SLAs/SA1s/SA2s are not equal in size and because the AHS samples are not selected to ensure an equal sample distribution at these lower level geographies, this method does not result in an equal number of people (either records or weighted estimates) in each decile/quintile.
Confusion can arise about the ordering of the deciles/quintiles created from SEIFA indexes. ABS constructs all four indexes so that relatively disadvantaged areas (e.g. areas with many low income recipients) have low index values, and relatively advantaged areas (e.g. areas with many high income recipients) have high index values. Correspondingly, in ABS publications and other outputs, SEIFA deciles are numbered from decile 1 or lowest decile (most disadvantaged), to decile 10 or highest decile (least disadvantaged). Quintiles are labelled similarly.
For consistency, this ordering applies to all indexes, irrespective of whether they are named as indexes of advantage and/or disadvantage. Care needs to be taken in comparing SEIFA analyses undertaken by different agencies, as quintiles or deciles may be labelled in reverse order to the standard ABS order.
SEIFAs were not available for a small number of records obtained in the AHS, because some CDs/SA1s/SA2s do not have a SEIFA score calculated for them due to their very small population at the time of the Census. These records were excluded before SEIFA quintiles and deciles were created.
The composition of specific families within households is available on the All Persons level. This can provide a more detailed understanding of the family unit to which a person belongs than provided at the Household level.
'Family composition' is defined as the differentiation of families based on the presence or absence of couple relationships, parent-child relationships, child dependency relationships or other familial relationships, in that order of precedence. The 'family composition' of a particular family is created through the relationships that exist between a single 'responsible adult' and each other member of that family living in the household. Family composition is then allocated on the basis of whether the types of relationships given below are present or not in the family in the following order of precedence:
Family composition is categorised as follows:
The definition of family used for the AHS is a more restrictive definition than the ordinary notion of the term 'family' which generally includes relatives whether they live together or not. This is a reflection of the fact that for survey-based research it is necessary to place some physical bound on the extent of family, for the purposes of being able to collect family data.
Relationship in household
Relationship in household was derived from information supplied by the responsible adult (ARA) who answered the initial survey questions for each household, about all usual residents of the household. It describes the relationship of each person in a household to the ARA (i.e. wife, son, not related). Output categories are:
The data items and related output categories for this topic are available in Excel spreadsheet format from the Downloads page of this product.
Comparability with 2007-08
Data is considered directly comparable between the 2007-08 and 2011-12 surveys.
The 2001 SEIFA was not added to the 2011-12 data files as it is now considered to be outdated.