Households, Dwellings, Plots and Blocks of Flats

1 Household

Household: Those who dwell under the same roof and compose a family. A social unit composed of those living together in the same dwelling. (Source: Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary).

The household is: "The basic residential unit in which economic production, consumption, inheritancechild rearing, and shelter are organized and carried out"; [the household] "may or may not be synonymous with family".

The household is the basic unit of analysis in many socialmicroeconomic and government models. The term refers to all individuals who live in the same dwelling. In economics, a household is a person or a group of people living in the same residence. Most economic models do not address whether the members of a household are a  family  in the traditional sense. Government and policy discussions often treat the terms household and family as synonymous, especially in western societies where the nuclear family has become the most common family structure. In reality, there is not always a one-to-one relationship between households and families. (Source: Wikipedia; Encyclopaedia Britannica; The Free Dictionary).

Household (KNBS/KDHS definition): A household is defined as a person or a group of persons, related or unrelated, who live together and who share a common source of food. (Source: KNBS/KDHS 2010: 13).

Household (KNBS/Census): KNBS uses a slightly different definition for the Census: Household: refers to a person or group of persons who reside in the same homestead/compound but not necessarily in the same dwelling unit. Have same cooking arrangements, and are answerable to the same household head. (KNBS, August 2010; 4).

Note: A household often forms a unit which has its own sources of income and set of expenditures. Members of such a unit tend to prepare and share the same food. This is why MajiData (plot and dwelling-level interviews) enquired about the number of kitchens or cooking places.

2 Dwelling

Dwelling: A shelter (as a house, flat or apartment) in which people (in most cases the members of a single household) live. (Source: Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary).

Dwelling: A dwelling refers to the specific shelter or residential unit occupied by one of more households. E.g. a servants’ quarter is a dwelling. (Source: MajiData).

Dwelling (KNBS): KNBS defines Dwelling Unit as follows: This is a place of abode or residence occupied by one or more households, usually with a private entrance. There can be many dwelling units within a structure. (Source: KNBS, August 2010; 4).

3 Plot

Plot: A small area of planted ground, a vegetable plot, a small piece of land in a cemetery. A measured piece of land: lot. (Source: Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary).

Within the framework of data collection, a plot refers to a demarcated piece of land in a peri-urban or low-cost area. Plots are usually demarcated with wall fences, hedges or by using other materials.

Land lot: In real estate, a lot is a tract or parcel of land owned or meant to be owned by some owner(s). A lot is essentially considered a parcel of real property in some countries or immovable property (meaning practically the same thing) in other countries. Possible owner(s) of a lot can be one or more person(s) or another legal entity, such as a company/corporation, organizationgovernment, or trust(Source: Wikipedia;, US Business Law/Taxes).

4 Blocks and Flats

a. Block and Flat

Block: A line of row houses or integrated group of buildings.

Block: A large building divided into separate functional units (2): a line of row houses (3): a distinctive part of a building or integrated group of buildings. (Source: Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary).

Flat: An apartment (dwelling) on one floor in a block of flats. (Source: MajiData).

Block of flats: A block consisting of flats (multi-storied); a block consisting of a number of storeys and flats. (Source: MajiData).

b. Apartment Building

Apartment building: A room or set of rooms fitted esp. with housekeeping facilities and usually leased as a dwelling. Or: a building containing several separate individual residential. (Source: Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary).

5 Homestead & Compound

Homestead: The home and adjoining land occupied by a family. (Source: Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary).

Compound: A fenced or walled-in area containing a group of buildings and esp. residences. (Source: Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary).

6 Structure

According to KNBS:

Structure (KNBS): Refers to a building used for the purposes of residential, business or any other activity. For census purposes, a structure is defined as a building used for dwelling and related activities. In rural areas most of the structures are to be found within the homestead, and contain one of more dwelling units. In urban areas a structure may contain several dwelling units, e.g. storeyed buildings. (Source: KNBS, August 2010; 4).

7 Housing: Permanent & Temporary Structures

Permanent and temporary structures (KNBS): whether dwellings should be considered as permanent or temporary structures often depends on the types of construction materials used (especially the materials that were used to construct the walls). Where bricks, stones and concrete blocks are used, the structure can be considered to be permanent. If walls are made of corrugated iron sheets, timber, mud/poles the structures can be categorised as temporary. (Source: KNBS, August 2010; 4).