A family is defined as a couple with or without child(ren), or one parent and their child(ren), living in the same household.
- In 2001, Tokelauan people were more likely to live in a family situation (84 percent) than the New Zealand population (75 percent).
- A two-parent family with children remains the most common family type for Tokelauan people. Of those living in a family in 2001, nearly two-thirds (65 percent) were living in a two-parent family – a drop of 9 percentage points since 1991. The comparable figures for the Pacific and New Zealand populations were 65 percent and 57 percent respectively.
- Twenty-nine percent of Tokelauan people living in a family were in a one-parent family – 7 percentage points higher than in 1991. By comparison, 28 percent of the Pacific population and 17 percent of the New Zealand population were living in a one-parent family in 2001.
- The proportion of Tokelauan people living as a couple without children increased slightly from 4 percent (of those living in families) in 1991 to 6 percent in 2001. The equivalent proportions for the Pacific and New Zealand populations in 2001 were 8 percent and 26 percent respectively – the older age structure of the national population being a contributing factor to this difference.
- The proportion of dependent Tokelauan children living in two-parent families decreased from 76 percent in 1991 to 65 percent in 2001. Over the same period, the proportion of dependent Tokelauan children living in one-parent families rose from 24 percent to 35 percent.
- In 2001, 32 percent of Tokelauan people were living in extended family situations – down from 40 percent in 1996. By comparison, 29 percent of the Pacific population and 8 percent of the New Zealand population were living in extended families in 2001.
- The average (mean) size of families with at least one Tokelauan member decreased slightly from 4.3 in 1991 to 3.9 in 2001. The average family size for the New Zealand population was 3.0 in 2001.
A household is defined as either one person who lives alone or two or more people who usually reside together and share facilities such as eating, cooking and bathroom facilities.
- Nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of Tokelauan people were living in one-family households in 2001 – down from 79 percent in 1991.
- Following the national trend, the proportion of Tokelauan people living in households with two or more families rose in the first part of the decade from 19 percent in 1991 to 27 percent in 1996, before declining to 23 percent in 2001. The equivalent proportions of the Pacific and New Zealand populations living in households with two or more families in 2001 were 20 percent and 5 percent respectively.
- In 2001, the overseas-born Tokelauan population (28 percent) was more likely to live in households with two or more families than New Zealand-born Tokelauans (21 percent).
- One percent of Tokelauan people were living in one-person households in 2001 – a similar proportion to the Pacific population overall (3 percent). The equivalent figure for the New Zealand population was 9 percent.
- In the decade to 2001, the average (mean) size of households with at least one Tokelauan member declined slightly from 5.0 in 1991 to 4.7 in 2001. The average household size for the New Zealand population in 2001 was 2.7.