Cohabiting couple family

A cohabiting couple family consists of two people of any sex who are living together as a couple, with or without their child(ren), but who are not married or in a same-sex civil partnership. Child(ren) included in the cohabiting couple family may belong to both members of the couple or only one. Children are included in the family only if they are not themselves living with a spouse, same-sex civil partner or partner and do not have any children of their own in the household.


Two people are described as cohabiting if they are living together as a couple but are not married to each other or in a registered same-sex civil partnership together. This includes people living with a partner of the same sex. A cohabiting person might be married or in a civil partnership (with someone not resident in the household) but will not be shown as married, in a civil partnership or separated in results relating to living arrangements because cohabiting in this classification takes priority over legal marital or partnership status.


Coding, in census terms, involves allocating codes to each answer to make it easier for statisticians to analyse.

Civil partnership

A civil partnership is a legal relationship, which has been registered by two people of the same sex. It enables same-sex couples to obtain legal recognition of their relationship and gives them similar rights and responsibilities to a marriage. Couples who form a civil partnership have a new legal status, that of 'civil partner'.

The Civil Partnership Act 2004 came into force on 5 December 2005.


Child (Alternative definition)

In a small number of census results, for example some versions of 'Household composition' or 'Adult lifestage', adult is used to refer to those aged 16 and over and children to those aged 15 and under. This definition is different from the standard definition for adults, children and dependent children used in most census results. When this definition is used it is clearly indicated.


There is no age limit applied to the definition of a child. For example, a married couple living with their son aged 40 would be classified as a family consisting of a married couple and their child unless the son has a spouse, same-sex civil partner, partner or child living in the household.
This definition is used in most results from the 2011 Census. In results where a different definition is used, it is clearly indicated.


The census produces estimates for the number of people and households in Scotland. It also tells the story of the population by collecting detailed demographic information about the people, families and households. These characteristics are based on the census questions such as religion, ethnicity, age, qualifications and employment, and give us the information to help to understand the make-up of an area.

Census Quality Survey (CQS)

The Census Quality Survey is a voluntary survey carried out after the census to measure the accuracy of responses in the census. The survey asked a sample of the population the same questions as asked on the census so answers could be compared between the census and the CQS. Where responses differed, follow-up questions were asked of the respondents to determine why.


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