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Households and families

Commentary

Overview

Patterns of household composition and family type in the Auckland region have been remarkably consistent over time. Auckland city and Rodney district have the highest proportion of couple-only families, and the predominant type of couple in both of these areas is an older couple whose children have left home.

Mapping household composition

Figure 9.1 shows the distribution of household composition in the Auckland region from 1991 to 2006. Household composition classifies households according to the relationships between members. There can be one-person households, multi-person households, and family households. Multi-person households are made up of non-family members. The darker green areas of the maps show the prevalence of households composed of one or more families.

Figure 9.1

Percentage of households by household

Note: More information about interpreting the maps is in the Interpreting the maps chapter.

pdf icon. Downloadable version of figure 9.1 (PDF, 8.3MB)

If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader, download Adobe Reader for PDFs to view or print this file.

Household composition over time

he distribution of household composition in the Auckland region has remained consistent over time. Table 9.1 shows the historical patterns in household composition for the Auckland region. For the region as a whole, families were 74 percent to 76 percent of all households between 1991 and 2006. The patterns for one-person and multi-person households were also very stable.

Table 9.1

Household Composition in Auckland Region
1991–2006
1991 1996 2001 2006
Household composition Percent
One person 19.1 18.4 20.4 19.6
Family 74.4 76.0 73.6 75.0
Multi-person 6.4 5.6 6.0 5.4
Total 100  100 100 100

Source: Census of Population and Dwellings
Note: Due to rounding, individual figures may not sum to totals.

The dominance of the 'family' household type is also seen in figure 9.1, which shows that between 1991 and 2006 families were the most common type in all areas of Auckland apart from in the Auckland CBD. The proportion of one-person households was highest in central Auckland from 1991 to 2006, and lowest in parts of Manukau city. Multi-person households are made up of non-family members. From 1991 to 2006 multi-person households were concentrated in Auckland city.

A closer look at families

The ‘family’ household category includes households made up of one or more families. Family type classifies according to the presence or absence of couples, parents, and children. There are three types of family – couple only, two-parent family, and one-parent family. Figure 9.2 shows the percentages of each family type throughout the Auckland region, from 1991 to 2006.

Figure 9.2

Percentage of Families by Family

More information about interpreting the maps is in the Interpreting the maps chapter.

pdf icon. Downloadable version of figure 9.2 (PDF, 8.2MB)

If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader, download Adobe Reader for PDFs to view or print this file.

Family type over time

Table 9.2 shows that for the Auckland region as a whole, two-parent families are the most common family type, followed by couples without children. The trend over time has been stable for all three family types.

Table 9.2

Family Type in Auckland Region
1991–2006
1991 1996 2001 2006
Family type Percent
Couple only 33.3 34.2 34.8 34.8
Two-parent 48.3 47.5 45.7 46.3
One-parent 18.4 18.3 19.5 18.9
Total 100 100 100 100

Source: Census of Population and Dwellings

Two-parent families were the most common family type in many areas of Auckland, as seen by the darker panels in the middle of figure 9.2. High percentages of two-parent families were scattered throughout North Shore, Waitakere, Auckland, and Manukau cities, and Franklin district.

Auckland city had a high proportion of couple-only families in 1991; in particular, in central Auckland where there were many young, working couples. High proportions of couple-only families were also present in some parts of Rodney district. Further analysis has shown that the predominant type of couple in both areas is an older couple whose children have left home. The pattern of two distinct couple-only family groupings was also seen in the data for other years.

One-parent families were less common than the other two family types. From 1991 to 2006, the highest proportion of one-parent families was in Manukau city and parts of Papakura district. There were slight increases in one-parent families in Waitakere city and Papakura district.

The patterns for both household composition and family type have been stable. Where people live at different stages of their life cycle has remained largely unchanged over time.

Implications

There are a number of implications of household composition and family type in the Auckland region.

The geographical distribution of households and families remained much more stable between 1991 and 2006 than other social and economic variables considered in this report. This geographical stability is a sociological puzzle, which warrants further investigation.
People's demand for social services and consumer goods varies according to the types of households and families they live in. For instance, demand for childcare services falls when the number of couple-only families in an area is low. The more stable the geographical distribution of households and families is, the easier it is to plan for new services.

Related chapters

  • 0–14 population
  • 65+ population
  • Housing
  • Labour force

Further information

This page is part of Mapping Trends in the Auckland Region, available on http://www.stats.govt.nz/.

Notes and sources

Definitions

The denominator for the household composition calculation is the households in private occupied dwellings, and the denominator for the family type calculation is the families in private occupied dwellings.

More information about how families are classified is in Family type, available on http://www.stats.govt.nz/. More information about how households are classified is in Household composition, available on http://www.stats.govt.nz/.

Data sources

The data are based on the census night population count from the 1991, 1996, 2001, and 2006 population censuses.

The maps display data at area unit level. Area units are non-administrative areas that are in between meshblocks and territorial authorities. They generally coincide with suburbs (in urban areas) and rural neighbourhoods. The Auckland region is made up of 399 area units, while there are 1,927 area units throughout New Zealand. Digital boundary files, used for constructing the maps, can be downloaded from Digital Boundaries, available on http://www.stats.govt.nz/.

The Auckland region is one of 16 regions, which are aggregations of area units governed by regional councils. More information about the geographical hierarchy of areas and the maps is in the Interpreting the maps chapter.

Further reading

Auckland Regional Council (2007). Housing and Households in the Auckland Region 2006 Auckland Regional Council, 2006 Census series.

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