Since 2005, the definition of a household, in the sense of the household surveys conducted by Insee, has been distinctly modified. A household is considered as being a set of (related or unrelated) people habitually sharing the same dwelling (whether it is their main residence or not) and who have a joint budget. The habitual residence is the dwelling in which they usually live.
The household is therefore composed of the people who share the same budget, that is :
1) who contribute resources towards the expenses made for the life of the household ;
2) and/or who merely benefit from those expenses.
In the definition of the common budget, expenditure on housing is not taken into account;
- Occasional contribution to joint expenditure is not enough to form a common budget;
- Having several different bank accounts in a household does not mean that there are separate budgets.
In surveys prior to 2005, people were required to share the same main residence to be considered as households (or "ordinary households"). It was not necessary for them to share a common budget. De facto, a household corresponded to a dwelling (main residence). Since 2005, however, a dwelling can comprise several households, referred to as "living units".