2000 Census Definitions of Households and Families



Household
A household includes all the people who occupy a housing unit.  (People not living in households are classified as living in group quarters.) A housing unit is a house, an apartment, a mobile home, a group of rooms, or a single room occupied (or if vacant, intended for occupancy) as separate living quarters.  Separate living quarters are those in which the occupants live separately from any other people in the building and that have direct access from the outside of the building or through a common hall.  The occupants may be a single family, one person living alone, two or more families living together, or any other group of related or unrelated people who share living quarters.

In 100-percent tabulations of the 2000 census, the count of households or householders always equals the count of occupied housing units.  In sample tabulations, the numbers may differ as a result of the weighting process.

Average household size.  A measure obtained by dividing the number of people in households by the total number of households (or householders). 

Householder.  One person in each household is designated as the householder (Person 1).  In most cases, the householder is the person, or one of the people, in whose name the home is owned, being bought, or rented.  If there is no such person in the household, any adult household member 15 years old and over could be designated as the householder (i.e., Person 1).

Two types of householders are distinguished: family householders and nonfamily householders. 

A family householder is a householder living with one or more individuals related to him or her by birth, marriage, or adoption.  The householder and all of the people in the household related to him or her are family members. 

A nonfamily householder is a householder living alone or with nonrelatives only.

Spouse (husband/wife).  A spouse (husband/wife) is a person married to and living with a householder.  People in formal marriages, as well as people in common-law marriages, are included.  The number of spouses is equal to the number of ‘‘married-couple families’’ or ‘‘married-couple households’’ in 100-percent tabulations.  In sample tabulations, the number of spouses may not be equal to the number of married-couple households due to the differences in the weighting procedures for sample data.

Child.  A child is a son or daughter by birth, a stepchild, or an adopted child of the householder, regardless of the child’s age or marital status.  The category excludes sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, and foster children.

Other relatives.  Other relatives include any household member related to the householder by birth, marriage, or adoption, but not included specifically in another relationship category.  In certain detailed tabulations, the following categories may be shown:

Grandchild.  A grandchild is a grandson or granddaughter of the householder.

Brother/sister.  Brother/sister refers to the brother or sister of the householder, including stepbrothers, stepsisters, and brothers and sisters by adoption.  Brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law are included in the ‘‘Other relative’’ category on the questionnaire.

Parent.  Parent refers to the father or mother of the householder, including a stepparent or adoptive parent.  Fathers-in-law and mothers-in-law are included in the ‘‘Parent-in-law’’ category on the questionnaire.

Parent-in-law.  A parent-in-law is the mother-in-law or father-in-law of the householder.

Son-in-law/daughter-in-law.  A son-in-law/daughter-in-law, by definition, is a spouse of the child of the householder.

Other relatives.  Other relatives include anyone not listed in a reported category above who is related to the householder by birth, marriage, or adoption (brother-in-law, grandparent, nephew, aunt, cousin, and so forth).

Nonrelatives.  Nonrelatives include any household member not related to the householder by birth, marriage, or adoption, including foster children.  The following categories may be presented in more detailed tabulations:

Roomer, boarder.  A roomer or boarder is a person who lives in a room in the household of Person 1 (householder).  Some sort of cash or noncash payment (e.g., chores) is usually made for their living accommodations.

Housemate or roommate.  A housemate or roommate is a person who is not related to the householder and who shares living quarters primarily to share expenses.

Unmarried partner.  An unmarried partner is a person who is not related to the householder, who shares living quarters, and who has a close personal relationship with the householder.

Foster child.  A foster child is a person who is under 18 years old placed by the local government in a household to receive parental care.  They may be living in the household for just a brief period or for several years.  Foster children are nonrelatives of the householder.  If the foster child is also related to the householder, the child should be classified as that specific relative.

Other nonrelatives.  Other nonrelatives includes individuals who are not related by birth, marriage, or adoption to the householder and who are not described by the categories given above.

Unrelated Individual
An unrelated individual is:
(1) a householder living alone or with nonrelatives only,
(2) a household member who is not related to the householder, or
(3) a person living in group quarters who is not an inmate of an institution.

Family Type
A family includes a householder and one or more other people living in the same household who are related to the householder by birth, marriage, or adoption.  All people in a household who are related to the householder are regarded as members of his or her family.  A family household may contain people not related to the householder, but those people are not included as part of the householder’s family in census tabulations.  Thus, the number of family households is equal to the number of families, but family households may include more members than do families.  A
household can contain only one family for purposes of census tabulations.  Not all households contain families, since a household may be comprised of a group of unrelated people or of one person living alone.

Families are classified by type as either a ‘‘married-couple family’’ or ‘‘other family’’ according to the presence of a spouse.  ‘‘Other family’’ is further broken out according to the sex of the householder.  The data on family type are based on answers to questions on sex and relationship that were asked on a 100-percent basis.

Married-couple family.  This category includes a family in which the householder and his or her spouse are enumerated as members of the same household.

Other family:
Male householder, no wife present.  This category includes a family with a male maintaining a household with no wife of the householder present.

Female householder, no husband present.  This category includes a family with a female maintaining a household with no husband of the householder present.

Nonfamily household.  This category includes a householder living alone or with nonrelatives only.

Unmarried-Partner Household
An unmarried-partner household is a household that includes a householder and an ‘‘unmarried partner.’’ An ‘‘unmarried partner’’ can be of the same or of the opposite sex of the householder.  An ‘‘unmarried partner’’ in an ‘‘unmarried-partner household’’ is an adult who is unrelated to the householder, but shares living quarters and has a close personal relationship with the householder.  An unmarried-partner household may also be a family household or a nonfamily household, depending on the presence or absence of another person in the household who is related to the householder.  There may be only one unmarried-partner per household, and an unmarried partner may not be included in a married-couple household as the householder cannot have both a spouse and an unmarried partner.

Source:  U.S. Census Bureau, Census 2000, Summary Social, Economic, and Housing Characteristics, Selected Appendixes: 2000, B–14 Definitions of Subject Characteristics.