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Multilingual Demographic Dictionary, second unified edition, English volume

One-person household

Multilingual Demographic Dictionary, second unified edition, English vol.
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One-person household  (ONE-PERSON HOUSEHOLD)

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 The term head 2 has also been employed but this usage is now largely out of date.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.