UN and UNECE/CES population census standards

The concepts, definitions and classifications recommended in this chapter are consistent with those in both these standards, with two exceptions: i) the definition of household, including some associated concepts; and ii) the coverage of households.

The UN household definition (but not the UNECE/CES definition) excludes institutions and does not separately recognise “private” households. It also contains a different specification for multi-person households: the resources to be shared by members must include “other essentials of living” (in addition to food), and a household may extend beyond a single housing unit.

While there is general consistency with the UNECE/CES definition of household, two aspects of the detailed concepts underpinning that definition differ from what is recommended here. Specifically, the UNECE/CES standard equates a person’s country of residence with the country in which the place of usual residence is located. This chapter recognises that the two countries are generally the same, but not necessarily so. Also, the UNECE/CES standard provides for an exception from its recommended place of usual residence for tertiary students studying away from home but in the same country. This chapter provides for the same exception, but also allows the exception to be applied in the case of tertiary students studying abroad.

In respect of statistical coverage, both the UN and UNECE/CES standards cover all households within the scope of their particular definitions. Full alignment with household measures compiled according to the UNECE/CES standard should be achievable if institutional households and those living in collective living quarters can be separately identified and excluded from the UNECE/CES-based statistics. However, only approximate alignment is possible with the UN standard, and only in situations where the UN-based statistics contain separate details for collective households and non-single housing unit households.

OECD Guidelines for Micro Statistics on Household Wealth © OECD 2013

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