Households and Family Units

At the 1966 Census, answers to the question on relationship to the head of the household were used for the first time to product data on the composition of families and households. At the 1961 and previous censuses data had been produced on the size of households but for the 1966 Census a family and household classification was developed which not only enabled data to be produced on the size of households but also classified separate families within households according to their structural composition.

A 'household group' is defined in the census as 'a person or group of persons living as a domestic unit with common eating arrangements'. An 'occupied dwelling' is 'any habitation occupied by a "household group" and may comprise the whole or only a part of a building'. Households are used as a basic unit of collection in the census and a separate schedule is completed in respect of each household. Within a household, however, there can be more than one distinct family unit and these were identified by using two basic characteristics of blood and marriage relationship as indicated by the answers to relationship to head, and other information such as name, age, sex, marital status, etc.

Following the separation of households into distinct family units, these units were classified into two types:

    Primary Family Units (PFU's) were those family units where the head of the family was also the head of the household. Such families can consist of only one person.

    Secondary Family Units (SFU's) were all other family units within the household which comprised at least two persons of immediate family relationship (see Note below).

Within these two broad family types a detailed classification showing 16 family classes was devised based on the following relationships:

  1. Head. The head of the household (and of the PFU) is in general the person claiming to be the head. Where present, this is usually the husband unless the wife claims to be head and is engaged in an industry and the husband is a pensioner or is engaged as a helper in his wife's business. With the same exceptions, for SFU's comprising a husband and wife, the husband is head of the family. For SFU's comprising only one parent and child (or children), the parent is classed as the head.

  2. Spouse. As implied in (i) above, the spouse is generally the wife of the head. Where the husband is absent at the time of the census, the wife is classed as head of the family and the family is then recorded as being without a spouse.

  3. Issue children. These are children, of any age, with one or both currently married (i.e. excluding separated, widowed or divorced) parents present. Children, who are themselves married, are not included in this category. Adopted children are treated in the same manner as issue children.

  4. Other children. Are: (a) children, of any age, with a separated, divorced or widowed parent present providing they are unmarried and not accompanied by children of their own, and (b) all children under 16 years of age without a parent present.

    Note: In the family classification shown on page 7, 'Issue children' and 'other children' are classed as 'children' only if they are under 16 years of age. 'Issue children' and 'other children' aged 16 years or over are included as 'other adults'.

  5. Ancestors. These comprise direct ancestors of the head or spouse of the PFU, e.g. father, grandmother, etc. but not aunts, uncles, etc. Ancestors are included in the PFU whether or not they are married or accompanied by children of their own and are included as 'other adults' in the family classification. Because of the difficulty of identifying ancestors of the head or spouse of SFU's, a separate category was not designed for such persons. They have either been treated as separate SFU's or, if they do not constitute a separate family,are excluded from the family analysis.

  6. Other family members. These comprise brothers and sisters of the head or spouse of the PFU. However, brothers and sisters are not included in this category if they are married or accompanied by children of their own or are under 16 years of age. Other family members are included as 'other adults' in the family classification. Because of the difficulty of identifying brothers and sisters of the head or spouse of SFU's, a separate category was not designed for such persons. They have either been treated as separate SFU's or, if they do not constitute a separate family, are excluded from the family analysis.

  7. Other relatives of the PFU of younger generation. These comprise:
    1. Sons, daughters, sons/daughters-in-law, grandsons and grand -daughters who are currently married but unaccompanied by their spouse or children.
    2. Grandsons and grand-daughters, not currently married, aged 16 years and over, and who are unaccompanied by their children or parents.
    3. Nephews and nieces, of any marital status, aged 16 years or over and unaccompanied by their spouse, children or parents.
    These persons are excluded from the family analysis but are included in the household analysis.

  8. Other relatives of the PFU of older or same generation. These comprise:
    1. Brothers, sisters, brothers/sisters-in-law, who are married but are unaccompanied by their spouse or children.
    2. Uncles or aunts of any marital status and who are unaccompanied by their spouse or children.
    3. Cousins of any marital status, aged 16 years or over and unaccompanied by their spouse, children or parents.
    These persons are excluded from the family analysis but are included in the household analysis.

  9. Boarders. These comprise persons who stated themselves to be boarders and who were unaccompanied by their spouse or children. These persons are excluded from the family analysis but are included in the household analysis.

  10. Other unrelated persons. Comprises persons who stated themselves to be visitors, guests, friends, etc. and who were unaccompanied by their spouse or children. These persons are excluded from the family analysis but are included in the household analysis.

Primary Families consist of any combination of persons classified to categories (i) to (vi) but because of the difficulty of identifying relationships within Secondary Families only combinations of persons classified to categories (i) to (iv) were included in SFU's.

The Family Classification

  1. Single person, aged less than 30 years
  2. Single person, aged 30-44 years
  3. Single person, aged 45 years or over
  4. Head and spouse, head aged less than 30 years
  5. Head and spouse, head aged 30-44 years
  6. Head and spouse, head aged 45 years or over
  7. Head and 1 or 2 children
  8. Head and 3 or more children
  9. Head, spouse and 1 or 2 children
  10. Head, spouse: and 3 or more children
  11. Head and other adults
  12. Head, spouse and other adults
  13. Head, I child and other adults
  14. Head, 2 or more children and other adults
  15. Head, spouse, I child and other adults
  16. Head, spouse, 2 or more children and other adults

Family types 4 to 16 can be with Primary and Secondary Families but since types 1, 2 and 3 contain only one person they can only be Primary Families.

Classification of Households

The household classification is derived wholly from the family classification as follows:

    Household
    Classification
    Composition of Household
    1 Single family household of one person
    2 Single family household of more than one person
    3 A Primary Family Unit and a related Secondary Family Unit(s) and/or other relatives of the PFU
    4 A PFU of one person and a non-related SFU(s) and/or non-related persons
    5 A PFU of more than one person and a non-related SFU(s) and/or non-related persons
    6 A PFU and related SFU(s) and/or other relatives of the PFU and non-related SFU(s) and/or non-related persons
 

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