Family Structures Household structure Census 2006 Ireland Cohabitation
Lunn, Pete; Fahey, Tony, Households and Family Structures in Ireland, Dublin, ESRI, December, 2011
This is the second of two reports on the structure of families in Ireland based primarily on a detailed analysis of census data. Both reports uncover new findings on
evolving family structures and aim to shed light on the various driving forces behind that evolution. The first report (Lunn, Fahey and Hannan, 2009) was mainly based on
an analysis of individual records within Census 2006. The present report offers a more complete household‐level analysis which permits issues to be examined that
were previously beyond quantitative investigation. The basis ofthe analysisis a transformation ofthe 4.4 million individual records from Census 2006 into a set of just over one million recordsthat contain details on family structure for each enumerated family. Access to the anonymised 2006 Census microdata was granted by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) to the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) under a formal agreement, on location and under controlled conditions. Although the findings obviously relate to 2006, many of the results give insightsinto longer‐term changesin family structuresthat have evolved over decades and will remain relevant for years after the survey was conducted. In this sense, they help to establish a context in which some of the findings of Census 2011, especially those relating to family structures and fertility,might be considered. The report concentrates on four research topics made more accessible by this manipulation of the census microdata: (1) The extentto which partners have similar backgrounds, versus the extent to which couples cross social boundaries; (2) The rapid growth in and consequentrole of cohabitation; (3) The family circumstances of children; and (4) Patterns of fertility. Unless otherwise indicated, all findings below relate to 2006.
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