The makeup of Australian households has changed over the ten years between the 2011 and 2021 Census.
Between 2011 to 2016 there was a 10.6 per cent increase in the number of group households (from 4.1% of all households to 4.3%). This changed dramatically in the 2021 Census with a large fall in the rate of increase to just 1.9 per cent. As a consequence, the proportion of group houses fell to 3.9 per cent of all households in 2021. It is very possible that this change reflects the impacts of COVID in 2020 as people may not have wanted to share housing with unrelated individuals who may not comply with lockdown restrictions or who were working in jobs that made them vulnerable to catching COVID.
Over that same time period of 2016 to 2021, there was a very large 17.2 per cent increase in the number of lone person households, which rose from 24.4 per cent of all households in 2016 to 25.6 per cent of all households in 2021.
In addition, households comprising ‘Couple family with no children’ (13.2% increase) and ‘One parent family’ (12.4% increase) increased at a greater rate than for the 11.9 per cent increase of all households.
Figure 1: Types of Australian households, 2021
Figure 2: Percentage change in type of Australian households 2011-16 and 2016-21