Definition: Institutional households

Category: Demography

The ECE/Eurostat recommendations define an institutional household as"a legal body for the purpose of long-term inhabitation and provision of institutionalised care given to a group of persons". The text gives a non-exhaustive list of examples, but does not propose any classification. It is becoming increasingly important to measure in detail the part of the population living in this type of household, for example because of the growing proportion of elderly population. Moreover the census is often the unique source of information on that particular group, generally excluded in households surveys.
Therefore the following classification is recommended :
1. Educational institutions
2. Health care institutions
3. Institutions for retired or elderly persons
4. Military institutions
5. Religious institutions
6. Other institutions.

A particular institution could be placed in more than one class (e.g. a school for hearing-impaired persons giving general education but also carrying out rehabilitation activities could be either an educational institute or a health care institute). In these cases the institution is classified according to its principal purpose or target group. If the principal purpose or target group is not clear, the classification shows the order of priority in determining the class.
Eurostat, "Guidelines and table programme for the Community programme of population and housing censuses in 2001, Vol. 2: Table Programme", Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg, 1999