Household types


Source

Statbel (National Register) & Eurostat, processed by Statistics Flanders

Eurostat


Definitions

Household: the delimitation of a household is based on the registrations at the same main place of residence in the National Register. The figures only take into account the legal situation, which may differ from the actual situation. For example, some young people may live alone or cohabit, but remain officially domiciled with their parents.

Private and collective households: households are broken down into private and collective households. Collective households are: religious communities, nursing homes, orphanages, student and workers’ homes, hospitals and prisons (definition Statbel). All households that are not collective households are private households. 

Reference person of the household: the person who represents the household in contacts with the authorities (Statbel definition).

7 types of private households can be identified:

- single-person household (persons living alone with a reference person aged 15 or older);

- married couple without children living at home (+ other persons living in that household, if any):

- married couple with child(ren) living at home (+other persons living in that usehold, if any);

- unmarried couple without children living at home (+  other persons living in that household, if any);

- unmarried couple with child(ren) living at home (+  other persons living in that household, if any);

- single-parent household (+ other persons living in that household, if any);

- other household types: All households not listed in the previous types, such as brothers/sisters living together, friends living together, etc.

Children of a couple or of a single parent concern own children, stepchildren, adopted children and foster children. The breakdown by type of household does not take into account the age of the child(ren) living at home or the fact that a child living at home could possibly have a partner and/or  own children.

Partners who live together without being married could be legally cohabiting or actually cohabiting. Legal cohabitations are listed in the National Register, but Statbel does not (at the moment) use this information for the household typology. Partners who actually live together without being married are not registered as such in the National Register. 

All rules for defining the types of households are described in detail in a Technical Report (Lodewijckx & Deboosere, 2008).

Some households consist of the core family (couple with or without children living at home; single-parent household with children living at home) with other persons living with them, such as parents (in law) of the reference person, son/daughter-in-law, grandchildren, other members of the family and unrelated persons.

Relationship between household type and position of the persons within the household

Household type

Position within household

Single-person household  

-person living alone


Married couple without children living at home  

- married partner without children living at home

- other person living in the household
 

Married couple with children living at home  

- married partner with child(ren) living at home

- child living with a married couple

- other person living with married couple 
 

Unmarried* cohabiting couple without children living at home

- unmarried cohabiting partner without children living at home

- other person living with unmarried cohabiting couple
 

Unmarried* cohabiting couple with child(ren) living at home

- unmarried cohabiting partner with child(ren) living at home

- child living with an unmarried cohabiting couple

- other person living with an unmarried cohabiting couple
 

Single-parent household

- single parent

- child living with a single parent

- other person living in the single-parent household
 

Other household type 

- member of a different type of household
 

Collective household

- member of a collective household

* Strictly speaking, not married (with civil status of unmarried, divorced or widowed).


Remarks on quality

The Statbel source publishes statistical series on the legal population. It is based on the National Register of natural persons and shows the situation of the population on 1 January of the calendar year, which can be derived - on condition of additional checks by Statbel - from the entries in the population register (Belgians and foreigners who are authorised to reside in Belgium) and the foreign nationals register (foreigners who are allowed or authorised to stay in Belgium for more than 3 months for a fixed or indefinite period of time). Certain categories of foreigners (e.g. diplomatic and consular staff) are exempt from registration in the population registers. In some cases they may be registered at their own request. They are only included in the population figures if this is the case. 

These are the households corresponding to the legal population. This is the population as recorded in the civil registers of the municipalities. It is the sum of the population register (Belgians living in a Belgian municipality and foreigners with a permanent residence permit), the register of foreigners (foreigners with a temporary residence permit), the register of civil servants of the European Union and the register of privileged foreigners of NATO or SHAPE.

Asylum seekers who are registered in the waiting register do not belong to the legal population and are therefore not included in these figures. Belgians abroad (registered in the consular registers of the diplomatic missions and consular posts abroad) and embassy staff are similarly not included in the legal population.

The legal population may thus be different from the actual population. The actual population includes both persons registered in the waiting register and persons who have not been registered in the municipality. 

Since 2015, AD Statistics (now called Statbel) has processed and published the households by type. There are slight differences between the tables of Statistics Flanders and the tables published by Statbel, although both institutions use the same source data. The difference between the two methods of calculation is in the delineation of the unmarried cohabitants. Statbel obtains slightly fewer ‘unmarried couples without children’ and slightly more ‘other types of households’ than Statistics Flanders; there are no differences for the other types of households. For the time being, the series of Statistics Flanders are used because these date back to 1990.
 

References

National Register: Website

Statbel: Population

Eurostat: Labour Force Survey
 

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