Statistics Canada - Catalogue no. 98-301-X: 2011 Census Dictionary
Introduction to the household universe
The household universe is composed of subuniverses and variables (see Figures 20 and 21) which pertain to the person or the group of persons (other than foreign residents) who occupy a dwelling and do not have a usual place of residence elsewhere in Canada. Household variables are distinct from dwelling variables, in that the latter ones pertain to dwelling characteristics, not to persons occupying dwellings.
Refers to a person or a group of persons (other than foreign residents) who occupy the same dwelling and do not have a usual place of residence elsewhere in Canada. It may consist of a family group (census family) with or without other persons, of two or more families sharing a dwelling, of a group of unrelated persons, or of one person living alone. Household members who are temporarily absent on May 10, 2011 (e.g., temporarily residing elsewhere) are considered as part of their usual household. Every person is a member of one and only one household. Unless otherwise specified, all data in household reports are for private households only.
Households are classified into three groups: private households, collective households and households outside Canada.
Refers to a person or a group of persons who occupy a collective dwelling and do not have a usual place of residence elsewhere in Canada. Only data for collective households with usual residents are shown.
In 1971, the term 'households abroad' was used. Prior to the 1971 Census, these households were included in the count of private households, and housing data were imputed to them. In 1971, they were included in the count of private households to which housing data were not imputed. Since 1976, both households outside Canada and their dwellings have been excluded from the counts of private households and occupied private dwellings.
The number of private households is equal to the number of occupied private dwellings in the 2011, 2006, 2001, 1996, 1991, 1986, 1981 and 1976 censuses (see the definition Dwelling, private, occupied by usual residents in the Dwelling universe section).
Refers to the basic division of private households into family and non-family households. Family household refers to a household that contains at least one census family, that is, a married couple with or without children, or a couple living common-law with or without children, or a lone parent living with one or more children (lone-parent family). One-family household refers to a single census family (with or without other persons) that occupies a private dwelling. Multiple-family household refers to a household in which two or more census families (with or without additional persons) occupy the same private dwelling. Family households may also be divided based on the presence of persons not in a census family.
Non-family household refers to either one person living alone in a private dwelling or to a group of two or more people who share a private dwelling, but who do not constitute a census family.