The modern-day analysis of the evolution of households can count on a range of sources, the oldest of which is the Population Census. The use of the potential in the census survey has been developed over time, and the figures currently available on households have become very wide-ranging, allowing for their classification according to various characteristics. Nonetheless, the only information that is comparable right from the 1861 census is that relating to the number of households and their size. 

Another source of primary importance is the household records held by municipal population registers, which are also the basis for sample surveys on households.

Additional elements for a long term analysis come from the information on marriages, separations and divorces that are the main cause of the formation and division of households. However, these events only refer to a specific moment in the life cycle of a household, and usually refer to the household in the sense of “family nucleus”, formed of a couple with or without children... full text




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