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Multilingual Demographic Dictionary, second unified edition, English volume
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A fundamental statistical unit 1 used in demography is the individual 2 or person 2 . The term head 2 has also been employed but this usage is now largely out of date. The household 3, a socio-economic unit, consists of individuals who live together. Statistical definitions of the household vary. According to the definition which has been recommended as an international standard a household consists of a group of individuals who share living quarters (120-1) and their principal meals. The term hearth 3 has been used in the past, showing that in the past members of the household used to share the same fire. Classifications of households also vary between different countries and different enquiries. Most classifications involve the distinction of two types: private households 4 and collective households 5 . An individual living by himself is considered to be a one-person household 6 . A boarder 7 is a person other than a domestic servant, who is unrelated to other members of the household and who habitually takes his meals with the household. A lodger 8 or roomer 8, on the other hand, does not habitually take his meals with the household. These two categories may or may not be included in the household for statistical purposes.
- 4. Private households are called family households when their members are related.
- 5. Collective households may include institutional households composed of persons who reside in specifically designated institutions (e.g. hospitals, prisons, etc.). They may also include unrelated persons who reside in group quarters (120-1*) other than institutions. However, recent internationally recommended definitions restrict the terms household and household population to private households, and refer otherwise to persons not living in households.
When a private household (110-4) contains several persons they are called members of the household 1 and one of them will be the head of the household 2. There is no universally accepted rule as to who is considered the head of the household; in some cases it may be the principal earner 3. On most census schedules there appears a question dealing with the relationship 4 (114-3*) of members of the household to its head. This enables a distinction to be made between different groups in composite households 5 or complex households 5 which contain members of more than one biological family or nuclear family (113-1). A composite or complex household can be disaggregated into several nuclei 6, including a primary nucleus 7 and secondary nuclei 8. The nuclei are more commonly called families (112-1). The primary family 9★ is that of the household head when it is defined, the others are called secondary families 10★. Household size 11 denotes the number of persons included in the household.
- 2. The term householder is sometimes used to refer to the head of the household. The term headship is frequently encountered.
- 6. The nucleus is also called a conjugal family unit.
The family 1 (cf. § 113 and § 115) is a different unit which must be carefully distinguished from the household (110-3). It is defined primarily by reference to relationships which pertain to or arise from marriage, reproduction or adoption, all of which are regulated by law or custom. The fundamental relationships are those established between a couple by marriage — and that existing between a couple as parents 2, i.e., father 3 and mother 4, and their children 5, i.e., sons 6 and daughters 7 .
- 2. Parent, n. - parental, adj. - parenthood, n.: the state of being or becoming a parent.
- 3. Father, n. - paternal, adj.
- 4. Mother, n. - maternal, adj.
- 6. Son, n. - filial, adj.
- 7. Daughter, n. - filial, adj.
Parents and their children are sometimes referred to as the biological family 1, or nuclear family 1 . Brothers 2 and sisters 3, without distinction of sex are called sibs 4 or siblings 4 . Siblings with only one parent in common are called half-brothers 5 or half-sisters 6. Extended families 7 are larger family units generally composed of combinations of nuclear families. The vertically extended family 8★ consists of three or more generations living in the same household or very close to each other. The horizontally extended family 9★ involves siblings with their spouses and their children living together. The vertically extended family can generate special types such as the stem family 10★ in which only one of the children (the heir) continues to reside with the parents after marriage, together with the heir's spouse and their own children.
- 1. The term simple family and elementary family are frequent synonyms for the terms biological or nuclear family. In a restricted sense, such as in fertility analyses, the term biological family may refer to parents and their own children, excluding adopted children.
- 7. The terms composite family and joint family are frequent synonyms for the term extended family. In the most general sense of the term, an extended family may refer to all members of a kinship group.
Persons related through common descent 1 from the same progenitor 2 or ancestor 2 are called blood relatives 3 or genetic relatives 3 . The terms kin 3 and in an aggregate sense kinship group 3 are also used. The degree of relationship 4 is generally computed by reference to the number of steps which are necessary before a common ancestor is reached, but there are many different methods of computation. The fundamental relation in each of these steps is the filial relation 5 (cf. 112-6* and 112-7*) of child to parent, which is the reciprocal of parenthood 6 (112-2*) i.e. the relation of a couple or of a father or a mother to offspring 7 or progeny 7 . Blood relationship must be distinguished from relationship by marriage 8, which marriage establishes between one spouse and the kin of the other.
- 1. Descent, n. - descendant, n.: one linked through descent
- 2. Ancestor, n. - ancestral, adj.
- 3. Relative, n. - related, adj. - relationship, n.: the state of being related. The term relative is used for persons related by blood or marriage.
Kin, n. and adj. - kinship, n.: the state of being kin. Relatives is sometimes also used for the collection of all kin.
- 7. Progeny, n.: this term may also be used for all of the descendants of a common ancestor.
- 8. In certain countries persons related by marriage may be referred to as in-laws: wife's family of origin are in-laws to husband and vice versa.
The family 1 (cf. 112-1) as a unit in demographic studies representing all or part of a household (110-3) needs to be specifically defined, and definitions for different purposes may vary. A statistical family 1 or census family 1 generally consists of all members of a household who are related through blood, adoption or marriage. A household may, or may not include a family. A statistical family cannot comprise more than one household, although a household may include more than one family. In some countries the definition of a statistical family may approximate to the biological family (113-1); in others the definition may be based on the family nucleus 2 consisting of either a married couple without children, a married couple with one or more never-married children or one parent with one or more never-married children. These may either form the census family itself or be the core of such a family. Married couples living with their biological children are called intact or sometimes traditional families 3★. By contrast, a broken family 4★ is one in which one of the parents has been lost by death, divorce, separation or desertion. Families where one parent, separated or widowed, lives with her children may be also be named single parent families 4★. Married couples, widowed or separated people who, at the time of the declaration, have no more children living in the household, may have special name, like in Germany, residual family (“Restfamilie”) 5★. When these types of families are living within a household, they are called family household 6★.
- 1. In the United States of America, a sub-family is a married couple with or without children, or a parent with one or more never-married children, under 18 years of age, living as members of a household and related to but not including the head of the household and his wife. In Great Britain, the primary family unit consists of parents and their children, the parents' sibs and ancestors.
In demographic literature, the term generation 1 has been given a precise meaning and refers to a group of persons born within a specified period of time, generally taken as a calendar year. The term cohort 2 denotes a group of persons who experience a certain event in a specified period of time: thus birth cohort is a synonym for generation in the sense of 116-1, a marriage cohort is a group of persons married within a defined period, etc. In demography as in genealogy the term generation 3 may also be used to denote the descendants of a group of persons who are themselves a generation in the sense of 116-1. Thus the children of a group of migrants are often referred to as the second generation 9★. Occasionally we also use the expression third or fourth generation. Generations can be qualified according to their current age as, for example, the young and rising generation 6★, the middle-aged generation 7★ or the generation in the prime of life 7★ and the older generation 8★ while the age limits are often vague and therefore require clarification. Cohorts of people born during historical periods related to low birth rates (or high) can be referred as birth-dearth or low-birth-rate cohorts 11★ (or high-birth-rate cohorts 10★--more colloquially baby-boomers). Occasionally consideration is restricted to lines of descent through one sex only, thus a male generation 4 or paternal generation 4 are the sons of a generation of males, a female generation 5 or maternal generation 5 the daughters of a generation of females. These distinctions are normally used when the length of a generation or mean interval between successive generations is calculated. (cf. 713-1).
- 2. Cohort, n.: the term cohort analysis is used to denote a method of analyzing data, in which the experience of individual cohorts is studied throughout their lives, or other specified periods.
For purposes of military service the number of men who become liable to conscription in a given year is sometimes called the class of that year. In the United States the same term is used for a group of students who complete their studies at a particular school or university in a particular year.
- 11. Because of the depletion of births during the First World war, particularly in France, the French term “classes creuses” is sometimes used in the literature.
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