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Census Snapshot


This is one of a series of census snapshots designed to inform New Zealanders of some key findings from the 2001 Census of Population and Dwellings. Further information is available on our website: www.stats.govt.nz.

Overview

New Zealand's most common family type remains a couple with children, according to Statistics New Zealand. This information comes from 2001 Census data about relationships between individuals living within households. Of the three family types, 42 percent were couple with children families, 39 percent were couple-only families and 19 percent were one-parent with children families.

The proportion of couple with children families decreased from 48 percent in 1991, while couple-only families increased from 35 percent over this period. The proportion of one-parent families showed a smaller change, increasing from 17 percent in 1991.

More than half a million families contained children in 2001, and of these, 81 percent contained dependent children. Seven out of every 10 families with dependent children consisted of a couple with children, while the remaining 3 out of 10 consisted of one parent with children.

Between 1991 and 2001, the biggest numeric change in household types was for one-person households, which increased by 71,649 to reach 307,635.

Families and households

Families

Of the three family types, 42 percent were couple with children families, 39 percent were couple-only families and 19 percent were one-parent with children families.

The proportion of couple with children families decreased from 48 percent in 1991 to 42 percent in 2001, while couple-only families increased from 35 percent to 39 percent over this period. The proportion of one-parent families showed a smaller change, increasing from 17 percent in 1991 to 19 percent in 2001.

Six out of every 10 families contained children (590,712 families).

Forty-one percent of families with children had only one child, 36 percent had two children, and the remaining 23 percent had three or more children.

The North Island had a higher proportion of families with children than the South Island (62 percent versus 57 percent). Nationally, Gisborne Region had the highest proportion of families with children, while Marlborough Region had the lowest proportion (67 percent versus 52 percent).

Eighty-one percent of families with children contained dependent children (479,334 families).

Seventy-one percent of families with dependent children consisted of a couple with children (339,159 families), while the remaining 29 percent consisted of one parent with children (140,175 families).

Seventy-one percent of families lived in a dwelling that was owned by the usual residents, which is a decrease of 7 percentage points since 1991.

In 2001, 97 percent of families lived in households with access to a telephone, and 44 percent lived in households with access to the Internet.

Since 1991, the proportion of families living in households with access to one or more motor vehicles has increased from 93 percent to 95 percent.

Couples with children

Just over one-third (35 percent) of couple with children families contained one child, and a further 39 percent contained two children. The remaining 26 percent of these families contained three or more children.

The number of couple with children families with one child increased in the 10 years to the 2001 Census (up 2 percent), while the number with two or more children decreased over this period (down 7 percent).

Most couple with children families contained at least one dependent child (83 percent).

In the 10 years between 1991 and 2001, the proportion of families with dependent children that included a couple decreased from 76 percent in 1991, to 73 percent in 1996, and 71 percent in 2001.

There were 1,356 same-sex couple with children families in the 2001 Census. Of these, 960 were female couples, and 396 were male couples.

One parent with children

In the 10 years to the 2001 Census, the proportion of families with dependent children and only one parent increased from 24 percent in 1991, to 27 percent in 1996, and 29 percent in 2001.

Eighty-two percent of the parents in one-parent families were women. qqqqqqThe majority of parents in one-parent families were aged 25–49 years (68 percent); just 1 percent were under 20 years of age, while a further 9 percent were aged 65 years and over.

This reflects the fact that one-parent families include situations where older parents and adult children were living together.

More than half (53 percent) of one-parent families contained one child, 30 percent contained two children, and the remaining 17 percent contained three or more children. Around three-quarters of one-parent families contained dependent children.

Couples without children

People in couple-only families tended to fall into two age groups: those in their mid to late twenties or early thirties (ie younger couples who have not had children yet), or, to a greater extent, those in their fifties, sixties or early seventies (ie older couples whose children have left home).

There were 3,714 same-sex couple-only families in the 2001 Census. Of these, 1,878 were female couples, and 1,836 were male couples.

5. Extended families

Extended families consist of one family plus other related people, or two or more related families with or without other related people all living in the same household. There were 64,929 extended families in the 2001 Census.

Forty percent of extended families lived in rented dwellings in 2001. qqqqqq6. One-person households Between 1991 and 2001, the biggest numeric change in household types was for one-person households, which increased by 71,649 to reach 307,635.

Women were more likely than men to live in one-person households, with women comprising 6 out of every 10 one-person households.

In 2001, 8 percent of all residents in one-person households were aged 15 to 29 years, 49 percent were aged 30 to 64 years, and 42 percent were aged 65 years and over. In comparison, in 1991, 10 percent of all residents in one-person households were aged 15 to 29 years, 42 percent were aged 30 to 64 years, and 47 percent were aged 65 years and over.

Sixty-three percent of one-person households were owned by the usual resident. This compared with 80 percent of couple-only households, 77 percent of couple with children households, and 51 percent of one-parent with children households.

Only 16 percent of one-person households had access to the Internet, and 74 percent had access to a motor vehicle.

7. Households of unrelated people

Households of unrelated people (eg flatmates) increased by 2.6 percent between 1991 and 2001.

More information

These results come from the 2001 Census of Population and Dwellings conducted by Statistics New Zealand.

This release and other 2001 Census releases, along with additional information, are available free on the Statistics New Zealand website: http://www.stats.govt.nz, under "Census 2001". You are welcome to reproduce and publish this information provided you acknowledge Statistics New Zealand as the source. The counts for this 2001 Census Snapshot are taken from tables prepared for a series of topic-based reports that have been published since 28 March 2002.

The counts for this 2001 Census Snapshot are taken from tables prepared for the Families and Households report published 6 December 2002.

To discuss the availability of further information from the 2001 Census or other collections, contact our Information Centre by telephoning:

Auckland 09 920 2100 Wellington 04 931 4600 Christchurch 03 964 8700 or emailing mailto:info@stats.govt.nz.

This is the final Census Snapshot for 2002.

Brian Pink

Government Statistician


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