Families in Australia Survey – Key findings during COVID-19

The Australian Institute of Family Studies which is the Government’s key research body in the area of family well-being has carried out The Life during COVID-19 survey. Through the period May 1 to June 9 2020 they surveyed 7,306 participants from around Australia to better understand how families coped during the pandemic.

More research will be conducted around this but here are the key findings of this survey:

  • The proportion of people always working from home rose from 7% before COVID-19 to 60% during it.

  • Before COVID-19, 30% of families used parent-only care. That rose to 64% of families during COVID-19.

  • While parents worked from home, 40% always or often ‘actively’ cared for children during work.

    “Felt like we got abandoned by work to sort out our own arrangements with little to no understanding of maintaining our productivity whilst having young children with us 24/7”.
    Male, 45, lives in a major city, household with children

  • Almost half (43%) of respondents reported they or their partner had lost employment, reduced hours or wages. However 65% reported no real change to their personal income.

  • Young adults were disproportionately impacted by the economic downturn, being almost four times (15% vs 4%) more likely to ask for help from government or NGOs.

In terms of managing household chores, reportedly nothing really changed during the period with females continuing to do more here.

“Although my partner stepped up to help with home schooling and domestic duties at the start of the pandemic, it wasn’t long before it shifted to inequality again”.
Female, 40, lives in a major city, household with children



If you are interested in reading the full publication you can do so here. It certainly has been a challenging period for all families and it continues to be for many. We wish you and your families all the best as we continue to navigate work and home life in unprecedented times.