Person—relationship to household reference person, code N

Identifying and definitional attributes

Metadata item type:Data Element
Short name:Relationship to reference person
METeOR identifier:609147
Registration status:Housing assistance, Standard 30/08/2017

The familial and non-familial relationship of each person in a given household to a designated person in that same household, as represented by a code.


The ability to determine relationships between persons residing within the same household is essential in a wide range of statistics on household composition, family type and income unit.

Data Element Concept:Person—relationship to household reference person

Value domain attributes

Representational attributes

Representation class:Code
Data type:Number
Maximum character length:1
Permissible values:
1Reference person/tenant
3Son/daughter aged less than 16 years
4Son/daughter aged 16 years and over
5Resident aged less than 16 years
6Resident aged 16 years and over
Supplementary values:
9Not stated/inadequately described

Collection and usage attributes

Guide for use:

Only the usual residents of the household are included.

CODE 1   Reference person

May be referred to as person 1, main tenant or tenant 1, principal tenant, household head on application or tenancy forms, or where the dwelling is being purchased, referred to as the mortgagee. Person must be aged 16 or over.

CODE 2   Spouse/partner

Include defacto, wife, husband and partner of the reference person/tenant.

CODES 3 and 4   Son/daughter

Include the son(s) or daughter(s) (or step son(s)/daughter(s)) of the reference person and/or spouse.

CODES 5 and 6   Resident

Include relatives other than son(s)/daughter(s) (step son(s)/daughter(s)), non-related carer, other non-related and non-family member(s).

Data element attributes

Collection and usage attributes

Collection methods:

Collecting this data is quite complex, due to inter-relationships that may exist in a household. Refer to ABS: Directory of concepts and standards for social, labour and demographic statistics, 1995 for standard questions and approach to collecting data on this metadata item.

This metadata item is used to derive tenancy composition for public rental housing and state owned and managed Indigenous housing.

Source and reference attributes

Submitting organisation:

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

Reference documents:

ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) 1999. Standards for Social, Labour and Demographic Variables, 1999. ABS cat. no. 1200.0. Canberra: ABS. Viewed 6 February 2017, 

Relational attributes

Related metadata references:

Supersedes Person—relationship to reference person (household), code N Housing assistance, Superseded 30/08/2017

Implementation in Data Set Specifications:

Person (housing assistance) cluster Housing assistance, Superseded 30/08/2017

Person (housing assistance) cluster Housing assistance, Superseded 19/12/2017

Person (housing assistance) cluster Housing assistance, Standard 19/12/2017

Public Housing and State Owned and Managed Indigenous housing (PH & SOMIH) DSS 2018- Housing assistance, Standard 10/05/2019

DSS specific attributes +