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Source: MIL-OSI Submissions

New data shows 1 in 9 children under
the age of five lives in a multi-family household

– Media release

2 June 2020

Newly released data shows that 1 in 9 children
under the age of five lived in a household with more than one family at
the time of the 2018 Census, Stats NZ said today.

In Auckland, this proportion was around one
in six, with the highest rates in Māngere-Ōtāhuhu
and Ōtara-Papatoetoe.
In these areas, more than one in four under-five year-olds lived in a household
with two or more families, at 28.1 and 28.9 percent respectively.

Multi-family households tended to be larger,
with two-family households having an average of 5.6 people, and three-or-more-family
households averaging 9.0 people. In comparison, one-family households had
an average of 3.1 people living in them.

“While the census recorded just under 3,400
households with three or more families, over 30,500 people lived in such
households, and almost two-thirds of these households were in Auckland,”
senior manager census data delivery Susan Hollows said.

The study Finding
the crowding index that works best for New Zealand: Applying different
crowding indexes to Census of Population and Dwellings data for 1986–2006

shows that multi-family households are more likely to experience crowding.

The 2018 Census recorded 1.65 million households
in Aotearoa New Zealand. Nationally, the most common household type was
‘couples with children’. There were over 434,000 couple-with-children
households, representing more than one-quarter of all households (27.3
percent). This was a similar proportion to the two previous censuses (2006
and 2013). In 2018, around half of couple-with-children households had
either one or no dependent children (a child in a family who is under 18
years of age and not in full-time employment).

Almost half of all households (48.3 percent)
consisted of either a couple with no children or one person living on their
own. As indicated in Subnational
family and household projections: 2013(base)–2038
this proportion is expected to increase as our population ages.

New Zealand households reflecting life

The living situations of people in New Zealand
are different for the young and the old. Around two-thirds (66.6 percent)
of children aged under 15 years lived in a couple with children household
at the time of the 2018 Census, while a further 14.5 percent of this age
group lived in a one-parent-with-children household. The proportion of
children living in a one-parent household increased with the child’s age.
Around one in six children aged 10–14 years lived in a one-parent household.

By the time people are in their early 20s,
living in more diverse household types — such as an ‘other multi-person
household’ (for example, a group of unrelated people) — becomes more
common. Around one in five 20- to 24-year-olds lived in an other multi-person
household at the time of the 2018 Census. For those aged 65 years and older,
around three-quarters lived in either a one person or couple only household.

New Zealand households getting smaller

The average number of people per New Zealand
household was 2.6 in 2018, a slight fall from an average of 2.7 people
per household in the 2006 and 2013 Censuses.

Changes to the age structure of the population
are likely to have contributed to this fall. Between 2006 and 2018, the
proportion of children (aged 15 years and under) in the population fell
from 21.5 percent to 19.6 percent. At the same time, the proportion of
people aged 65 years and over increased from 12.3 percent to 15.2 percent.

The total fertility rate has also fallen
since the mid-2000s.