An economic unit which is defined for the purpose of the census of population as a single person living alone or a group voluntarily living together, having meals prepared together and benefiting from housekeeping shared in common. Because of the fact of shared use, which is a household’s characteristic, it is an important economic statistic when considering the market potential for certain consumer products. The percentage of households owning certain consurner durabies such as washing machines, television sets, refrigerators and video recorders is critical to the growth of the future sales of these products. In the initial introductory period sales grow fast as households buy for the first time, but they slow down rapidly when a high proportion of the households own the product. Thereafter, sales can only be for replacement.
Reference: The Penguin Dictionary of Economics, 3rd edt.