Child Type (CTPP)

This variable records the different parent-child relationships within families.

In the Census, data on child/parent relationships within a dwelling is mainly derived from question 5 on the Census Household Form, which asks for each person’s relationship to Person 1 on the form.

All persons aged under 15 years are regarded as children, and where no natural, adoptive, step-, foster, or grand- parent is identified for these children within the dwelling, they are coded to 'Otherwise related child' (if they are living with another adult relative, such as an older sibling or aunt or uncle) or to 'Unrelated child' (if no relative is identified within the same dwelling). Persons aged over 15 years are only regarded as children if they are living with a natural, adoptive, step, foster or grandparent.
Priority is given to identifying those relationships which form a ‘family nucleus’, i.e. partnerships and parent/child relationships and for many households, identifying relationships to assist the coding of family or household structure for that dwelling is quite straightforward. However, across the community, a wide variety of living arrangements exists and family structures can be complex and dynamic in nature, and so the quality of family data in the Census is partly dependent on people’s ability to describe these relationships within the constraints of the generalised questionnaire format required by a Census. This is particularly the case for those dwellings containing blended families or multiple generations of a family. Preliminary investigation into the relative strength of data quality between child types indicates that the Step and Foster children categories are slightly more susceptible to processing error.

In some cases, children are listed on the Census Household Form as Person 2 and in this case - where both parents are usual residents - the response 'Child of both Person 1 and Person 2' is not available in the relationship question (question 5) for Person 2. In this case coders attempt to establish whether the child was a step child or child of both parents using other information such as surname. Preliminary analysis of the data indicates that despite these attempts, there may be a small proportion of children coded to 'step-child' who may be a child of both parents.

For general information on the quality of Census data on relationships, see the data quality statement for Relationship in Household (RLHP).

More information on Child Type (CTPP) is available in the 2011 Census Dictionary (cat. no. 2901.0)

Question 5 as it appeared on the 2011 Census Household Form

Data for this variable is mainly derived from question 5 on the Census Household Form.

Image of question 5 from the 2011 Census
A text only version of this question is also available


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