By 2038, the highest growth will be in households without children. Household sizes are getting smaller as one-person and couple-only households grow.

Changing households and family patterns can reflect the impact of changing social trends, such as later marriages, lower fertility rates, divorce and blended family structures.

It can also be an indicator of economic pressures, such as housing costs and income, as well as cultural preferences including extended families and intergenerational living.

Topic Status Key findings
Historic Household Composition InformationInformation

In the 2013 Census, around two thirds of Christchurch households were made up of one family.

The proportion of households made up of two or more families has almost tripled, from 0.9% in 1991 to 2.5% in 2013.

One person households have increased overall since 1991 to make up 26% of households in 2013. Further information.

Historic Household and Family Structure InformationInformation

In the 2013 Census, 68% of households contained families, followed by one-person households (26%).

Couples without children made up 29% of households.

Since the 1991 Census, couples with at least one child living with them have declined from 31% of households to 27%, and are no longer the most common type of household in the city. Further information.

Future Household and Family Structure InformationInformation

Projections suggest between June 2013 and June 2038, the highest growth will be in child-free households.

There will be 35,600 additional one-person or couple-only households in the City, compared with 9,300 additional family-with-children households.

The surrounding districts of Selwyn and Waimakariri will also experience higher growth in child-free households, with a combined increase of 21,600 one-person or couple-only households, compared to 8,900 family-with-children households. Further information.

Household composition

The majority of households in Christchurch are one-family households, making up around two thirds of all households in the 2013 Census. This has declined overall from 69% in the 1991 Census.

There has been an increase in two-family or more households between 1991 and 2013, from 0.9% to 2.5%. This could be a reflection of the many irregular living arrangements made after the 2010/2011 Canterbury Earthquake Sequence, particularly during the housing shortages in the first few years after the earthquakes, as some households move in with family members while repairs were undertaken.

Historic household and family structure

In the 2013 Census, around 62% of households did not contain children. This has increased overall from 56% in 1991.

Couples without children was the most common household and family type in 2013, at 29%. This type of household has been increasing overall since 1991.

Couples with children was the second most common household and family type in the City in 2013, at 27%. In 1991, this was the most common household and family type.

One person households was the third most common household type, making up 24% of households in 2013.

The proportion of one parent with child(ren) households and other multi-person households have remained relatively stable since 1991, at 12% and 8% in 2013 respectively.

Future household and family structure

The growth in child-free households will continue to 2038. Between June 2013 and June 2038, it is expected there will be 36,600 additional one-person or couple-only households in the city (medium series projection). Combined, couple without children, one person households and other multi-person households will increase from around 61% to 65% of all households.

This compares with a 9,300 increase in family households with at least one child over the same period. Proportionally, family households with at least one child will decrease from 39% of all households to 35% by 2038.

Proportionally, couple without children households will make up approximately one third of all households by 2038, while one-person households will make up around 28% of households. Other multi-person households (e.g. those in flatting situations) will fall slightly from 5.6% to 4.8%.

Greater Christchurch household and family structure

Selwyn and Waimakariri also show similar trends in the growth of child-free households; Child-free households in Selwyn are expected to increase from 53% to 60% of all households; Waimakariri from 58% to 66%.

The decrease in households containing at least one child will be greater for the surrounding districts than for Christchurch City. Selwyn will see a decrease from 47% to 40%, while Waimakariri will see a decrease from 42% to 34% of households.

 

Further information

Please email monitor@ccc.govt.nz for further information.

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