Families and households: family type (information about this variable and its quality)


Family type classifies family nuclei according to the presence or absence of couples, parents, and children.



Variable Details

Other Variable Information

This variable is currently not available.

Priority level

Priority level 2

We assign a priority level to all census variables: Priority 1, 2, or 3 (with 1 being highest and 3 being the lowest priority).

Family type is a priority 2 variable. Priority 2 variables cover key subject populations that are important for policy development, evaluation, or monitoring. These variables are given second priority in terms of quality, time, and resources across all phases of a census.

The census priority level for family type remains the same as 2013.

Quality Management Strategy and the Information by variable for family type (2013) have more information on the priority rating.

Overall quality rating for 2018 Census

Very poor quality

Data quality processes section below has more detail on the rating for this variable.

Subject population

Families in occupied private dwellings

‘Subject population’ means the people, families, households, or dwellings to whom the variable applies.

How this data is classified

Family type standard classification 2008 - Master version V1.0.0

Family type is a flat classification.

  1. Couple without children

  2. Couple with child(ren)

  3. One parent with child(ren)

To be a 'child in a family nucleus', a person must usually reside with at least one parent, and have no partner or child(ren) of their own living in the same household.

Note that 'child in a family nucleus' can apply to a person of any age.

The Standards and Classifications page provides background information on classifications and standards.

Question format

Family type data comes from the following questions:

On online forms:

  • the household set-up form asks for a resident list
  • this resident list includes visitors to the household.

The household set-up form asks about usual residents who are absent on census night, whether they are in New Zealand or overseas, and whether they are away for less than 12 months or 12 months or more.

On paper forms:

  • question 17 on the dwelling form: relationship to reference person
  • question 20 on the dwelling form: absentee relationship to reference person
  • question 17 on the individual form: living arrangements.

Stats NZ Store House has samples for both the individual and dwelling paper forms.

How this data is used

Outside Stats NZ

  • By central government agencies, local authorities, private organisations, and researchers in the formulation of social policy, for planning and monitoring programmes, and for research purposes.

Within Stats NZ

  • To derive household and family projections.

Data quality processes

We are currently investigating whether we can improve the quality of family and household data.

The very poor quality rating for family and household data is due to:

  • missing household data
  • non-responding dwellings with no admin enumerated individuals, resulting in no households at the dwellings
  • admin enumerated individuals placed in meshblocks rather than dwellings, leading to incomplete households.

Family and household data include the following problems:

  • people counted at the wrong address
  • duplicate forms
  • incorrect family coding
  • respondent error.

Revision Information

Currently viewing revision 4 by on 3/10/2019 12:55:20 a.m.

Revision 4 *
3/10/2019 2:16:37 a.m.
Revision 3
22/09/2019 9:53:26 p.m.


DDI Agency
DDI Version


DDI 3 Download

Select the languages to display