Private household

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Economically relevant business entities

A private household or household (including household ) is in the economic sense, a of at least one natural person existing business entity .

If a private household consists of several people ( multi-person household ), some of these people are often married or related ( family ). A person living alone (the budget single ) is a single-person household , respectively. A shared apartment generally consists of several individual households. Depending on the definition of the household and the character of the shared apartment, it can also form a multi-person household. If the household is spatially and organizationally closely linked to a commercial enterprise (e.g. retail store), one also speaks of a business household .

In official statistics, a private household counts as any community of persons living together and forming an economic unit, as well as persons who live and manage alone. People in old people's or nursing homes, barracks and similar facilities who do not have their own household there, on the other hand, count as people in shared accommodation. In addition to their main residence, people can also belong to a household at a further residence (secondary residence) and in this case are counted twice. The population in private households therefore differs slightly from the number of inhabitants (i.e. the population at the main place of residence).

Scientific significance of private households

The Home Economics initially examined the skills and time required for individual fields of activity in the household. In addition to household science, various scientific disciplines deal with private households: for example, the economic departments of economics , business administration and home economics , but also various sociological departments (see also household economics ).

Households in Economics

In economics, they are of central importance for economic development as consumers , savers and providers of labor and capital (and thus ultimately as providers of factors of production ) within the framework of the economic cycle . In economics, private individuals are also subsumed as the private sector .

Households have a mainly the living purpose and the financial management assets serving structure, its purpose is in the range of work , their goal is the maximization . You achieve earned income , income from equity investment , entrepreneurship or transfers . The labor supply is determined by the preferences of private households, which have certain combinations of real income and leisure time to choose from. If private households were to draw up a balance sheet in their private financial planning , the assets side would consist of residential property , motor vehicles , household effects and receivables ( cash in hand , bank balances , securities ), the liabilities side would consist of liabilities and net worth or equity . Today the private household is an economic unit made up of one or more natural persons who, through consumption decisions, demand consumer goods and services , provide employment and only produce for their own consumption ( housework , gardening , education ).

In pursuing the goal of maximizing utility, private households have to choose between working time and leisure time, because every household has a budget of time which it has to divide between work and leisure time. For every hour of working time, he incurs opportunity costs equal to the benefit of the lost free time; these costs are called work suffering . According to Gossen's First Law , with decreasing free time (increasing work), the benefit of the remaining time increases, so that the price of free time increases and thus the increase in work suffering per additional work unit (“borderline suffering of work”) increases. The borderline suffering of work indicates for all activities in monetary units which work suffering or which work joy is associated with having to or be allowed to take on a certain activity.

Budgets in business administration

In business administration , especially in marketing , private households are seen primarily as buyers. The sub-discipline of marketing deals in particular with the question of how households can be encouraged through advertising to purchase the advertised goods in the context of business as casual or regular customers . For many companies , private households are an important or even the most significant customer group that is viewed as a homogeneous market segment . Here, a further market segmentation can be made, for example according to age ( young people ), marital status ( single households ) or occupation ( civil servants ).

Households in Home Economics

In the home economics in particular, the financial management is examined. Aspects such as stock keeping , home and textile maintenance , catering and accounting are taken into account.

The daily work can include, among other things

This short and incomplete overview shows that running a household is a complex and varied task that requires the cooperation of all parties involved. Not only is skill required, but also organization stalent , overview and discipline above all in the timing and in financial matters.

Of course, the tasks vary greatly with the number and demographic composition of the household. Individual households are the easiest to organize, but on the other hand, all work has to be done by one person or, if necessary, non-household assistants have to be called in.

There have in the task pane "household" different professional groups developed services offer:

Households produce goods and services to a considerable extent , but these are typically consumed themselves and are therefore not recorded statistically . Statistical data , on the other hand, are extremely interesting for companies in the consumer goods and service sectors.

Until the end of the 1980s, women (and in special cases also men) in the GDR as well as Bremen , Hamburg , Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia were granted a household day . Household day was a paid, non-working day to do housework and family work in your own household.

Households in Sociology

In sociology , private households represent a social system that can be examined for group processes. Households are therefore particularly important in micro- and family sociology . See also under partnership .

Households in Law

The budget is important in numerous places in law , e.g. B. the inheritance obligation to pay the thirtieth to members of the deceased's household, maintenance or death of a tenant . Numerous provisions focus on the head of the household and on the common household as a household community or community of needs .

Definition of households in statistics

In the household household principle, a household is defined as the group of people who live together in an apartment. In the economic budget principle, all people who work together belong to a common household. If counting according to the economic budget principle, married couples living apart are also recorded as one household, for example.

Economic significance of private households


In 2003, 26 percent of gross household income was accounted for by public transfers . In 1993 this proportion was only 20 percent. In the new federal states, half of the gross income comes from transfer payments and half from earned income. The main reasons for this are more pensioner households, repeated increases in child benefit, and higher payments to welfare recipients and the unemployed .

The gross income of private households in the new federal states and Berlin averaged 2,734 euros per month, which corresponds to 76 percent of the western level (3,619 euros). On average, the net income of all households nationwide is 2,771 euros. In the west at 2,895 euros, in the east at 2,233 euros (77 percent of the west level).

In terms of income and consumer behavior, there is also a north-south divide and differences between city-states and regional states, but the east-west differences are most pronounced. This also applies to consumption and savings behavior.

In 2012, the annual savings of private households amounted to 175.34 billion euros. The financial assets in the first half of 2013 amounted to 5,027.3 billion euros.

Number and size of households


In 2011, 81.84 million people lived in 40.40 million households in Germany, i.e. 2.03 people per household.

In 1900 a household had an average of 5.5 people, the median 4 people, out of every 100 households 7 consisted of one person, 15 of two people, 17 of three people, 17 of four people and 44 of five or more people. In 1961 the median was 3 people per household. Since 1962 it has been 2 people per household every year. In 2012, a household had an average of 2.0 people, with a median of 2 people; out of every 100 households, 41 consisted of one person, 36 of two people, twelve of three people, 9 of four people and 3 of five or more people.

The increasing life expectancy and the isolation of society lead to an increase in households in Germany and also in the neighboring countries.

Number of private households in Germany
(as of December 31, 2010)
state Number of households Number of inhabitants
Baden-Württemberg 5,042,000 10,754,000
Bavaria 6,065,000 12,539,000
Berlin 1,991,000 3,461,000
Brandenburg 1,250,000 2,503,000
Bremen 0.361,000 0.661,000
Hamburg 0.983,000 1,786,000
Hesse 2,958,000 6,067,000
Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania 0.853,000 1,642,000
Lower Saxony 3,871,000 7,918,000
North Rhine-Westphalia 8,609,000 17,845,000
Rhineland-Palatinate 1,893,000 4,004,000
Saarland 0.487,000 1,018,000
Saxony 2,213,000 4,149,000
Saxony-Anhalt 1,206,000 2,335,000
Schleswig-Holstein 1,400,000 2,834,000
Thuringia 1,120,000 2,235,000
all countries (sum) 40,302,000 81,752,000


In Austria there were 3.24 million households with 8.011 million inhabitants (2000), i.e. 2.47 inhabitants per household.


In Switzerland there were 3.1 million households with 7.180 million inhabitants (2000), i.e. 2.32 inhabitants per household. There were 1.25 million single-person households.


The number of households changed very differently in the individual EU Member States . In Germany, the number rose from 1980 to 1995, at around 45%, most strongly in Europe. An increase of 10% was expected from 1995 to 2010. In Ireland saw the largest increase in the same period, closely followed by Spain and Luxembourg . In 2003, the average number of people per household was highest in the southern EU countries and Ireland and lowest in the northern EU countries.

In almost all EU countries the household size is expected to decrease. In Spain, for example, from 3.2  people (1995) to 2.5  people (2025 Template: future / in 5 years), and significantly less in the northern EU countries. In Cyprus there are 2.9  people per household.

The differences in the number of people per household should therefore decrease considerably between the EU countries. For the 15 EU Member States in 2003, the average household size Template: future / in 5 yearsin 2025 could be 2.2  people.


In 2013, 57% of German private households rented , 43% owned their own home . In 2014, there was already only one person living in 40.8% of households in Germany; one- and two-person households together made up 76.2% of all households. In 2014, households spent 36% of their monthly income on housing / energy / maintenance, 13.7% each on transport and food / beverages / tobacco products, 10.4% on leisure / entertainment / culture, and 5.6% on furniture / household appliances , 4.5% for clothing / shoes, 3.9% for health and only 0.7% for education. The monthly net income was less than 900 euros for 10.5% of households, 12.5% ​​had up to 1,300 euros at their disposal, the highest proportion, at 15.5% of households, was between 1,500 and 2,000 euros, 10.9% earned between 2600 and 3200 euros, only 4.6% of households had 6000 euros and more at their disposal. In a 2014 survey, the Deutsche Bundesbank determined the financial situation of private households. According to this, the mean value of the gross wealth of a household was 77,200 euros, the net wealth was 60,400 euros. The wealthiest 10% of all households owned 59.8% of this net wealth, which also accounted for 36.8% of the net income distribution. The relationship between income and wealth is also influenced by the fact that both variables usually follow certain life cycle patterns. Retirees and older people typically have greater wealth than younger households at the end of their working lives, even if their income is relatively high on average. Around 81% of households had real assets (including 44% home ownership), 99% financial assets (including 72% savings accounts), 45% were in debt (including mortgages 21%, unsecured loans 33%). Tangible assets averaged EUR 230,800, financial assets EUR 54,200, and debt was EUR 57,000. For around 60% of indebted households, the debt service ratio was below 20%, 10% had a risky ratio of over 50%, and 9% of all households were over-indebted .

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: Private household  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: household  - explanations of meanings, origins of words, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: household  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Dieter Pickelmann / Volker H. Peemöller / Carl Walter Meyer, Exchange rate changes, import price fluctuations and employment , 1981, p. 9 f.
  2. Holger Lang, Mon (k) ey-Business , 2016, p. 310
  3. ^ Alfred Endres / Jörn Martiensen, Umweltökonomik , 2007, p. 41
  4. Eberhart Ketzel / Hartmut Schmidt / Stefan Prigge (eds.), Wolfgang Stützel: modern concepts for financial markets, employment and economic constitution , 2001, p. 439
  6. Information from the Federal Statistical Office
  7. Households - Information January 2014 Accessed on January 20, 2014.
  8. Federal Agency for Civic Education : The Social Situation in Germany , 2012. [1]
  9. a b bpb, Federal Statistical Office
  10. a b destatis Long series of household sizes 1961-2017 annually
  11. ^ The Federal Statistical Office : Statistisches Jahrbuch 2012 (PDF) p. 26 August 2012. Accessed on 6 February 2013.
  12. Households in the European Union: 1995-2025 , statistics from 2003 [2] (PDF; 298 kB).
  13. statista the statistics portal, distribution of private households in Germany according to monthly net household income in 2015 , accessed on December 27, 2016
  14. ^ Deutsche Bundesbank, Private households and their finances , in: Monthly Report March 2016, p. 61 ff.
  15. Deutsche Bundesbank, Private households and their finances , in: Monthly Report March 2016, p. 62
  16. ^ Deutsche Bundesbank, Private households and their finances , in: Monthly Report March 2016, p. 67
  17. ^ Deutsche Bundesbank, Private households and their finances , in: Monthly Report March 2016, p. 71 f.
  18. ^ Deutsche Bundesbank, Private households and their finances , in: Monthly Report March 2016, p. 73
  19. ^ Deutsche Bundesbank, Private Households and Their Finances , in: Monthly Report March 2016, p. 74