Family Formation in 21st Century Australia

  • Genevieve Heard
  • Dharmalingam Arunachalam

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-viii
  2. Genevieve Heard
    Pages 1-12
  3. Janeen Baxter, Belinda Hewitt, Judy Rose
    Pages 31-51
  4. Belinda Hewitt, Janeen Baxter
    Pages 77-99
  5. Edith Gray
    Pages 101-121
  6. Edith Gray, Dharmalingam Arunachalam
    Pages 123-140
  7. Dharmalingam Arunachalam, Genevieve Heard
    Pages 141-158
  8. Genevieve Heard, Dharmalingam Arunachalam
    Pages 159-196
  9. Nicholas Biddle, Kim Johnstone
    Pages 197-224
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 241-247

About this book


This book provides a detailed, up-to-date snapshot of Australian family formation, answering such questions as ‘what do our families look like?’, and ‘how have they come to be this way?’ The book applies sociological insights to a broad range of demographic trends, painting a comprehensive picture of the changing ways in which Australians are creating families.

The first contemporary volume on the subject, Family Formation in 21st Century Australia chronicles significant changes in partnering and fertility. In the late 20th century, cohabitation, divorce, and births outside marriage rose dramatically. Yet family formation patterns continue to evolve, requiring fresh analysis. Even since the turn of the century, divorce has stabilized and fertility has increased.

Using information from the 2011 Australian Census and from large-scale surveys, leading Australian academics dissect recent trends in cohabitation, ‘living apart together’, marriage, interethnic partnering, relationship dissolution, repartnering, contraceptive use and fertility. Since there is more diversity in family formation patterns than ever before, the book also considers differences between groups within the Australian population. Which groups are more likely to marry, cohabit or have higher fertility? And how do patterns differ among indigenous, migrant or same sex attracted Australians?


2011 Australian Census Births outside marriage Cohabitation and living apart together Contraceptive use Family formation among same sex couples Family formation practices Fertility differentials Indigenous fertility Interethnic partnering Marriage and family life Partnering and fertility rates Relationship dissolution Repartnering and patterns of contraceptive use Separation and divorce

Editors and affiliations

  • Genevieve Heard
    • 1
  • Dharmalingam Arunachalam
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Social SciencesMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.School of Social SciencesMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia

Bibliographic information