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Individual level family status

Codes and Frequencies

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FAMSTAT reports each individual's family status and is based on the respondent's age and the presence of children in the household, irrespective of whether they are the respondent's own children. Because this variable is an individual characteristic, individuals in surveys with more than one respondent per household may have different FAMSTAT values.

Comparability — Index

South Africa
United Kingdom


FAMSTAT is largely comparable across all samples.

Comparability — Canada [top]

In 2005 and 2010, this variable is created using the MTUS created variables such as AGE, NCHILD, AGEKID and the original variable for living arrangement. There was only one observation that was left as un-coded, which was identified as a 16-year-old living in common law. It was, therefore, recoded as FAMSTAT=5 "Respondent aged lt 18, living arrangement other or unknown" (another way of avoiding this occurrence is to code all other living arrangements except those with parent(s) into the code, which you will find in the .do file).

In 2015, the original data contains the AGE code of 15-24, it is impossible to create codes for "04" and "05" for FAMSTAT.

Comparability — Hungary [top]

In 1999, there is no information on the age of the children (other than whether they are > or =18) in the original data. For this reason, FAMSTAT uses code 1 to mark an adult living with an under age child (18). Code 2 is not used for this sample.

In 2009, variable is constructed based on original variable GYER which gives information of children aged =6; 7-17; and 18. Thus, instead of using 5 years as the cut-off points, it uses 6 years old as the cut-off.

Comparability — Netherlands [top]

In the Netherlands, only children under 16 are identified. Accordingly, FAMSTAT has a child age cutoff of 16 rather than 18 for adults living with children.

Comparability — South Africa [top]

In 2000, FAMSTAT=4 could not be computed due to there being no original variable indicating whether the respondent lived in the parental home; all respondents 18 have been coded as FAMSTAT=5. Note that due to the nature of the original “number of children” variables (NCHILD) FAMSTAT=1 represents adults living with children age 6 and under; FAMSTAT=2 represents adults with children age 7-17.

In 2010, there is no code for a child living with parent(s)/ guardian(s). Instead, those are coded as 5. Code 2 means child is under 7, and code 3 means child is between 7 and 18 years old. High number of missing values for AGEKID means there is also high number of missing values for FAMSTAT.

Comparability — United Kingdom [top]

In 1995, co-resident children ages 16 to 18 are not captured in the age of the youngest child variable in the source data. As such, FAMSTAT has a child age cutoff of 15 rather than 18 for adults living with children.


  • All persons.


  • Austria: 1992
  • Bulgaria: 2001
  • Canada: 2005, 2010, 2015
  • Finland: 1979, 2009
  • France: 1985, 2009
  • Hungary: 1999, 2009
  • Israel: 1991
  • Italy: 2002, 2008
  • Netherlands: 1975, 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, 2000, 2005
  • South Africa: 2000, 2010
  • South Korea: 2004, 2009
  • Spain: 2002, 2009
  • United Kingdom: 1974, 1983, 1987, 1995, 2000, 2005, 2014
  • United States: 1965, 1975, 1985, 1993, 1995, 1998, 2003-2018