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Household generally refers to persons living together in a dwelling, whether or not those individuals constitute a nuclear or extended family in any culturally meaningful sense. Indeed, it is the distinction of household, as those living together, from family, in the sense of those related to one another in some sense, which gives the household concept much of its meaning and importance. The household is a basic unit of analysis in a variety of social science disciplines particularly economics, geography, demography and sociology, and is important in many social scientific and government statistical and data models.

Household, as opposed to family, is often used as a basic unit of analysis or measurement in economic research and population demographics.