Department of Family and Community Services

Living arrangements

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The majority of families living in the same household in NSW have dependent children (aged under 15 years) (Figure 1.7). Couple families with children made up 43 percent of all families, while women-headed lone parent families made up 14 percent and male-headed lone parent families were 2.8 percent.1

The marriage rate in NSW has decreased slightly in the last decade from 6.4 per thousand in 1999 to 5.7 per thousand in 2011, as has the divorce rate. In 2011, there were 1.9 divorces per thousand of population, compared to 2.4 12 years earlier.

As people get older, they are more likely to live alone. About a quarter (23.6 percent) of all people 65 years and over in NSW were in lone person households in 2011 compared to 8.7 percent of the general population who lived alone.

There are more than twice as many older (65 years and over) women living alone than men (164,300 women compared to 75,500 men). The proportion of women aged 65 and over who are living alone is 30 percent, compared to 16 percent for men of this age. Among 80 to 84 year old, some 33,900 women (39 percent of women in that age group) live alone compared to some 12,500 men (19 percent of 80 to 84 year old men). See Figure 1.6.

Figure 1.6 People aged 65 years or older who are living alone by sex, NSW, 2011

Fig 1.6

Population: People aged 65 years and over.

Source: ABS Census of Population and Housing 2011.

Figure 1.7 Marriages, families and living arrangements, NSW

Fig 1.7

Population: All women and men, age groups as specified.

Source: ABS (2011) Marriages and Divorces, Australia. Cat no. 3310.0, ABS (2010) Household and family projections, Australia, 2006 to 2031. Cat no. 3236.0 & ABS Census of Population and Housing 2011.


1 ABS (2010) Household and family projections, Australia, 2006 to 2031. Cat no. 3236.0, Series II projections.