The main difference between family and household is that a family refers to a group of members who maintain kinship with each other while living in the same dwelling or different dwellings, whereas a household refers to a group of people who may or may not maintain kinship with each other while living in the same dwelling.
Although family and household are considered the smallest units when analyzing demography, there are considerable differences between family and household.
Key Areas Covered
What is a Family
A family is a group of people with two or more members, united by marriage, blood, or adoption, and live together. Families may include people who do not live in the same house. For example, relatives like uncles, aunts, cousins, grandmothers, and grandfathers may not live under the same roof, but they belong to the same family.
The family is the smallest unit in society. There are different types of families, including nuclear families and extended families. A nuclear family includes parents with one or more kids. Extended families, on the other hand, include more distant relations like grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles apart from parents and children. There is another type of family as single-parent families. This includes one parent with one or more children.
Family is considered the most important group in any individual’s life. It is considered to provide the most significant and primary socializing of an individual. In a family, each family member shares duties and responsibilities. Moreover, a family provides an identity for an individual and functions as an agent for cultural transmission.
What is a Household
A household refers to a small social unit composed of members living in the same house, apartment, or annex. Here, a group of people shares the same dwelling irrespective of their kinship. Most of the time, members of a household are family members. But in some instances, there can be students and workers who share the same house. These are non-family households – a dwelling shared by non-related people. In contrast, family households consist of two or more individuals who share a blood relationship, kinship, or adoption.
The living arrangements of individuals may have different stages. Thus, an individual may live in a family household with parents and may leave the family household when he or she grows up. After that, they may live in a non-family household with their friends. Likewise, one can form a new household with a spouse and have children. Consequently, it becomes a separate family household. Due to many reasons like migrations, many people around the world live in non-family households. Therefore, all households cannot be considered as families.
Difference Between Family and Household
Family refers to a group of people with two or more members who have a relationship by marriage, blood, or adoption and live together in the same house or different houses, while household refers to a group who live in the same house, apartment, or annex.
In a family, all members are related, whereas, in a household, the members are not always related.
In a family, the members may live in the same dwelling or different dwellings, whereas in a household, the members live in the same dwelling.
Duties and Responsibilities
Although the members of the family have responsibilities and duties toward other members, in non-family households, the members do not have duties and responsibilities toward other members.
There are different types of families, such as nuclear family, extended family, and single-parent family, whereas there are two types of households as family household and non-family household.
Both families and households are the basic units in the society to define demography. The main difference between family and household is that a family refers to a group of members who maintain kinship with each other by living in the same dwelling or different dwellings, whereas a household refers to a group of people who may or may not maintain kinship with each other while living in the same dwelling.
1. Mondal, Puja. “Family: Meaning, Characteristics, Function and Types.” Your Article Library.