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French Equivalent: Ménage

The concept of household is based on the arrangements made by persons, individually or in groups, for providing themselves with food or other essentials for living. A household may be either (a) a one-person household, that is to say, a person who makes provision for his or her own food or other essentials for living without combining with any other person to form part of a multi-person household or (b) a multi-person household, that is to say, a group of two or more persons living together who make common provision for food or other essentials for living. The persons in the group may pool their incomes and may, to a greater or lesser extent, have a common budget; they may be related or unrelated persons or constitute a combination of persons both related and unrelated.

A household may be located in a housing unit or in a set of collective living quarters such as a boarding house, a hotel or a camp, or may comprise the administrative personnel in an institution. The household may also be homeless.

The SNA 93 definition of household is more succinct, namely: "A household is a small group of persons who share the same living accommodation, who pool some, or all, of their income and wealth and who consume certain types of goods and services collectively, mainly housing and food." (SNA 4.132 [4.20]).

Source Publication:
Principles and Recommendations for Population and Housing Censuses, Revision 1. United Nations, New York, 1998, Series M, No. 67, Rev. 1, paras. 2.61-2.62.

Cross References:
Types of household

Statistical Theme: Demographic and population statistics

Created on Tuesday, September 25, 2001

Last updated on Monday, July 29, 2002