In the report, a household is defined as
"a group of persons who make common provision of food, shelter and other
essentials for living." As you might expect, smaller average household
sizes were recorded in Europe and North America, with larger households of five
or more people more likely in Africa and the Middle East. Asia was somewhere in
the middle, with India having a majority of homes with 4-5 people and China
having a majority with 2-3 people.
Afghanistan had the largest household size,
with almost 80 percent of homes having six people of more. Iraq was second at
almost 70 percent, followed by Senegal, Gambia, Pakistan, Yemen, Tajikistan, Maldives,
Palestine, and South Sudan. At the other end of the list were a number of rich
European nations, with almost 40 percent of people in the Netherlands living in
a single person household and just over 80 percent living in a home with three
people or less.
Italy had the second smallest household
size in the world, followed by Germany, Denmark, Norway, Finland,
Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Estonia, and Czechia. You had to get out of the
bottom ten to find a non-European nation, with South Korea in 12th, Japan in
26th, and Canada in 27th. Australia had the 30th smallest household size in the
world, with New Zealand recording the 40th.
The average size of households has fallen
over the last few years, as has the share of households that contain children.
Kids are much more likely in households across Asia and Africa, where more than
80 percent of homes include at least one child below 15 years of age. The
situation is dramatically different in Europe, where less than 30 percent of
households contain kids. Despite the rise in divorce figures across the western
world, almost 75 percent of global households with children include two
Population ageing is also having a
significant effect on household composition, especially in Europe and North America
where more than 15 percent of the population are aged 60 years or over. African
nations have the most youthful populations, with the vast majority of African
countries having a population of 5 percent or less of people aged 60 and over.
The co-residence of children with older people is also more likely in Africa
and Asia, with multi-generational housing a reality for almost 1/3 of all
households in Senegal, Gambia, and Guinea.
Image source: Ekaterina