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9 Examples of a Household

A household is a group of people who live together who have reciprocal duties to each other. This includes families and close-knit social groups that resemble families. Households generally do not include people sharing a house such as housemates or those living in a communal environment. The following are illustrative examples.

Family Households

Families such as spouses and their children and adopted children are a household as long as they continue to live together in the same home.

Multi-generational Households

A multi-generational household is a home with three generations of a family living together. This can include children, parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and other family structures of 3 or more generations.


Couples who live together in a romantic relationship form a household. Likewise, any children, relatives or paramours of the couple who live with them would be part of that household.

Former Couples

A previous romantic relationship continues to be a household if the relationship ends and you continue to live together.

Foster Care

Any children who live with you under an arrangement such as foster care are members of your household.


A single person who lives alone is a single-person household.


Households can include any family structure or romantic relationship and extended relationships of those in these social structures. For example, a married couple who live with one partner's former boyfriend and his great-aunt and cousin.

Employed Persons

People living with you in the capacity of their employment can be considered members of your household. For example, a live-in nanny, nurse or maid.


Housemates who share a house.

People living in a dormitory or similar form of community housing.

Important Notes

Laws, regulations, contracts and institutions commonly provide their own definitions of household that may differ from the definition and examples above.
Some definitions of household may include roommates. For example, a census of a nation may include roommates as a household in order to simplify the census.
Definitions of household may include a short minimum period of cohabitation such as three months. For example, a cousin staying with you for two weeks wouldn't be viewed as a member of your household.
Households are viewed as an economic unit as they often pool resources, purchase as one and provide each other with financial support. For example, if you are selling washing machines, your target market is households as opposed to individual consumers.
Overview: Households
Definition (1)
People who live together who have reciprocal duties to each other.
Definition (2)
People who live together in a single-family dwelling such as a house or apartment.
Related Concepts


This is the complete list of articles we have written about household.
Economic Life
Extended Family
House Things
Household Items
Nuclear Family
Personal Economy
Role Of Family
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