This brief demographic profile presents a broad overview of the make-up of the New Zealand family in 2011 and identifies trends over the past few decades.
The aim is to make available to the general public the latest information on New Zealand families, and in doing so, make them better informed of the diversity of family life. Historical studies of the family show that there has never been a period that might serve as the ‘norm’, as the nature of family relationships has changed throughout history.
Until recently we tended to compare current family forms with the ‘nuclear family’ model of the 1950s and 1960s (e.g. mum, dad and the kids). This brief shows that this model no longer serves to describe the variety of family forms in New Zealand today, if indeed it ever did.