Q and A: Couple and Nuclear Families

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Are couples set to overtake nuclear families as the most common household in Australia, and if so, why?

For the first time in Australia's history, the nuclear family (couple with children) will no longer be the most common household – while today they make up 33% of all households, within a few years the couple only household will be the most common type of household.

There are a number of factors influencing this transition, including Generation Y couples having children later, and Baby Boomer households becoming empty nesters in record numbers.

Today the median age of parents is three years older than in 1984. The median age of mothers and fathers at new births is now 30.7 and 33 respectively. The increasing of the median age at new births means that households are remaining couple only for longer.

Besides couple only households, other household types are becoming more prevalent. Multi-generational households are on the increase with Baby Boomers being sandwiched between taking care of their parents (the builders) and their children (Gen Y) who are either studying whilst living at home or choosing to stay or return home after moving out, to combat the increasing costs of living out of home.

In addition to multi-generational homes, single person households are also on the increase and such is the impact of the ageing population that by 2036, solo person households will also be more numerous than nuclear families.

Additionally, the century-long trend of declining household size is set to continue. In 1911 there was 3.5 people per household while today there is an average of 2.6 people per household. However within a decade this will have dropped again to an average of 2.5 people. So Australian households and the generations that comprise them are very different today to those of the 20th Century.


More on changing household structures can be found in Mark McCrindle’s book The ABC of XYZ: Understanding The Global Generations.

Welcome to our blog...

We have a passion for research that tells a story, that can be presented visually, that brings about change and improves organisations. And we hope these resources help you know the times.

Our Social Media Sites

Facebook | McCrindle Research Social Media YouTube | McCrindle Research Social Media Twitter | McCrindle Research Social Media Flickr | McCrindle Research Social Media Pinterest | McCrindle Research Social Media Google Plus | McCrindle Research Social Media LinkedIn | McCrindle Research Social Media Mark McCrindle Slideshare

Last 150 Articles


global generations collaborative NEETs financial independence January 26th networking trend tuesday young australians world youth day breakfast house collaboration media activity mining boom the australian dream Skilling social researchers engage marriage litter students high density apartments volunteers workplace study land of the middle class data infographic social media curiosity office JOMO leadership communications results politics in depth interviews parents bondi Myth statistics food relational housing growth keynote speaker children australian social research cost charity house price rise sydney speaker eliane miles 2012 insights wealth and income holidays new york times future proofing alpha ferry analysis interactive forecasting typical australian mortgage Merry Christmas manly Research Executive forecast safe The Daily Edition financial dreams hopes optus my business awards communication meetings cultural diveristy CBD EFF annual income 2016 census Deaths New South Wales huffington post visual REIV Conference conference speaker generation Z australia trend ease of travel social enquiry Melbourne Territory future of work names low density google teleworking census social commentary Australian Home data analyst rising house prices shbc VIC SMART renting social shifts social trends baby ideas rule keeper Population Clock royal family group aged care wage outsourcing identity local census data learn faux-cilising menai social analysis research services religion jobs Generation Y event millenials university degree rental stress environment shopper's pick Sydney Hills Business Chamber product PSI Vocational education global financial crisis mccrindle experience visualisation contiki commuters customer australians staying home more System's Architect local community consumerism aussie culture video communicate education sector Education Future Forum motivate crime work-life sydney event cartodb megatrends urban living index Sydney Duchess of Cambridge events engagement medicine house price leader culturally diverse education future report local communities sunny days budget community engagement sydneysiders brands World Water Day report long weekend challenge hills shire business performance technology Bathburst change increasing densification 24 million baby name predictions capital cities skills SRE monarchy average sydneysider Australian Bureau of Statistics mobile sydney metro demographer generation daily telegraph travel pyrmont research pack neutral bay Adelaide public speaking moderators guide baby names tuesday global property market mythbusting offenders cloudy days Wodonga mccrindle in the media learning styles Australian Population Australia Day 2017 income gender digital world Australian Trends seasons dreaming housing spend retirement infographic wall conferences entertainment professional services ashley fell Valentine’s Day wolloomooloo recap Northern Territory fresh economy average aussie learning media release innovative demographic 23 million unaffordable wealth distribution school satisfaction Gen Y life social change census 2016 award winner youth unemployment Christmas season emerging technologies research ageing bureau publication optus high density living participants keynote poor Engineering Manager divorce rate HSC royal baby capital city graphs father's day Aussie professional development vegetarian 2015 darwin shifts Christmas presents grave decision debate panel summer FOMO Real Estate Institute of Victoria office opening ACT Crime Rates Christchurch winter blues marriages online shopping internship norwest woolworths staff Australian demographics 1968 entrepreneurs of today social issues future of education marrickville vegemite selfie domestic the hills shire Work place post rationalism residents winter royal middle class ACF princess charlotte paying to work educated NSW transport acf15 professional environmental scanning office space educhat year 12 apartment NT easy rider group session sector wide Scouts future easter apartments travelling South Australia authenticity mentor market research population youth trends financial micro apartments criminal rain cancelling plans perth presentations Macquarie University community event newspaper omnibus the hills Res Vis entrepreneurial lifestyle Australian communities national private wealth 2017 cash mover and shaker area Tuesday Trend media affordable resource Financial Planning Week not-for-profit GPO economic teaching social TAS generations online family internships kate middleton meals small business leadership workshop families insight language home owner housing affordability greatness socialites generational trends sports christmas fears cancel plans potts point employment learner social commentator Real Estate victoria emerging generations government Love cold sector wide study communities priorities investing hornsby ashley mckenzie Geoff Brailey demographics sustainable child care village The ABC of XYZ investor demography salary property high school Australian Dream New Zeland non profit wages research data buildings 1980 student ageing population growth training the changing face of rent brand ABS tattoos state marketing finance VET sector investment entrepreneur daily commute 2016 census results young people faux-ciliser overcast public holiday jobs of the future Gen X year 7 social researcher celebration earning consumer REIV National Conference parenting Financial Planning Association sentiments Queensland: QLD car population milestone water social impact suburban living healthy future Financial Planning Association of Australia organisations define Births millionth gen z 24,000,000 mateship earnings population map social life business index resilience twentyseventeen trends of 2017 Western Australia Kirsten Brewer men facts FPA Australian Communities Trends schools students anzac focus groups renter of the future schools builders media commentary pharmacies click states changing face of sydney urban taskforce baby name goals crows nest education research households generation alpha real 10 years Australians Aussies wellbeing ultimo urban James Ward innovation Wagga Wagga internet in the media NBRS Architecture cancelling event city baby names report demographic trends national wealth Northern beaches Event award Canberra average Australian mccrindle tea SMSF tertiary education christianity cooking Mark McCrindle organisational culture thought leadership balance teach VET brand experience geomapping nfp australian communities trends report society trends qualitative research university cars researcher Kiwi school new office CPI thrive New Zealand presentation focus group weekly earnings royal influence belief suburbs stay home Do It Yourself ACF 2016 society 40 million trends analyst personal growth quote work earn pharmacy list the average aussie tv clothing school students WA church wealth and income distribution living speakers etiquette intern 2016 Australian Census poker master Channel 7 futurist 1994 repayments dessert Northern Beaches teacher ipswich women national crime rates business Northern Beaches Christian School storytelling English social research staying in IT Specialists stats holiday owning a home population growth future-proof cica faux-cilise wedding commute news supply and demand Australian schools goal google for education survey forum Hills Shire Council housing market NBRS #censusfail career grandparents "know the times" deloitte employers dare to dream blaxland Queensland optimistic rich not for profit eliane couple housing trends urban living culture work mates divorce Christmas lunch home ownership Hornsby Shire Council wealth TDE tableau debt Caregiver train baby boom workshop Charlotte hello fresh trades relevant Wellington socialising coffee DESTEL cultural diversity 2020 community demographic transformations follow rise of local sector lalor park friendship professional speaker conference presentation research visualisation prince george sydneycity trends of 2016 sydneysider shopping bus affordability spirituality Netflix mythbusters workforce 2013 impact energy education baby name trends equip tea sydney hills conference Australia Day sunburnt country 1975 research report Word Up moreton bay christian australian communities forum millennials suburb baby names australia report happiness ethnography data visualisation Social Trend DIY workplace culture 2014 SA plans logan weather micro teachers household survey design dream slideshare McCrindle Speakers mother's day shopping centre gold coast Tasmania social lives Generation X careers baby boomers Royals Assistant Store Manager sun faith waverton purpose proactive cost of living property price public speaker personalities know the times townhouses Sydney keynote speaker Australian Families toys narcissism census fail responsive unemployment Tuesday Trends February 16 financial future aged care puzzle tips going out friends Channel Seven program future proof home gen alpha story hobart emerging trends high density education future house prices mccrindle research brisbane census results snapshot Andrew Duffin case study financial fears future of shopping growing population