From Academic Kids

The household is the basic unit of analysis in many microeconomic and government models. As the name suggests, the term refers to all individuals who live in the same house.

Most economic models do not address whether or not the members of a household are a family in the traditional sense. Government and policy discussions often treat the terms household and family as synonymous, especially in western societies where the nuclear family has become the most common family structure. In reality, there is not always a one-to-one relationship between households and families.

For UK statistical purposes, a household is defined as "one person or a group of people who have the accommodation as their only or main residence and (for a group) either share at least one meal a day or share the living accommodation, that is, a living room or sitting room" (see National Statisticsarticle ( The US census definition similarly turns on "separate living quarters", i.e. "those in which the occupants live and eat separately from any other persons in the building" (US Census Bureau) (

Most economic theories assume there is only one income stream to a household; this a useful simplification for modeling, but does not necessarily reflect realtiy. Some households now include multiple income-earning members.

In feudal or aristocratic societies, a household may include servants or retainers. (whether or not they are explicitly so named). Their roles may blur the line between a family member and an employee. In such cases, they ultimately derive their income from the household's principal income.


Household chore

A household chore is a specific piece of work required to be done as a duty or for a specific fee, related to or used in the running of a household.

Household chores normally include: cooking, setting the table and washing dishes; cleaning, sweeping, vacuuming, dusting and mopping ; picking up clothes to the washer and laundry; ironing; lift and carry things, putting things away; child and elder care; repairs; garden and animal care; outdoor chores, paying bills, ...

In economic analysis, such household chores performed by members of the household are not included in economic output.

Median household income

The median household income is commonly used to provide data about smaller geographic areas. The median is the middle number present in a set of data when the incomes of all household are arranged in an order of highest to lowest (if number of values in a set is even, the average between the two middle values are used). This is considered by many staticians to be a better indicator than the average household income as it is not dramatically affected by unusually high or low values.

See also

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