African Demography Working Paper Series


Michel Garenne

Document Type

Working Paper

Date of this Version

February 1981


African Demography Working Papers Working Paper No. 5 February 1981


The paper starts with a discussion of the concepts of household and family in historical and contemporary populations and summarizes the debate about size of households. A study of the average size of households and compounds recorded by censuses and surveys in tropical Africa is done followed by a discussion of the various definitions of households. Finally an illustration is given using data collected on the Serer, an ethnic group in Senegal.


Senegal, Serer, Africa, tropical Africa, family size, family structure, households, household composition, domestic group, developing countries, surveys, censuses, kin networks, collective households, compounds, residential mobility, residential patterns, household dynamics, household structure



Date Posted: 16 November 2007

This document has been peer reviewed.