Number 6: Australian families: circumstances and trends




The Research FaCS Sheet series was produced by the former Department of Family and Community Services (the former FaCS). The aim of the series was to provide a brief overview of varied social policy research undertaken by FaCS staff or research undertaken in conjunction with external research bodies. The last Research FaCS Sheet was released in 2002. 



In 1996, there were an estimated 6,898,000 households in Australia. Since 1961, the average size of households has fallen significantly, from around 3.65 to 2.7 persons per household in 1996 (see Figure 1). The number of one-person households has grown (due largely to the ageing of the population) as has the number of lone-parent families. Couples having smaller families have also contributed to the fall in household size.

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