Household surveys are one of the most important sources of social and demographic statistics in the U.S. While housing censuses are also a key source of such statistics, they are only conducted every 10 to 15 years. Household sample surveys — which can investigate almost any population-based subject — are therefore a powerful alternative, becoming one of the most flexible sources of data on social phenomena in the last few decades.
Please don’t confuse a household survey with censuses, they monitor two different sets of information. The household survey provides a more exhaustive collection of data on households, while population censuses offer comprehensive information on the population, age, sex, and education, etc.
Household surveys collect comprehensive and diverse socio-demographic data pertaining to conditions under which people live — their welfare, demographic characteristics, and cultural factors that influence behavior, as well as social and economic change.
As online household surveys have become more accessible, with respondents participating at their leisure, we’re seeing a dramatic reduction in the overall cost of conducting a survey, as well as an increase in useful, accurate data that’s easy to differentiate and categorize.
What is the importance of a household survey?
These surveys help us understand the basic needs and the daily challenges faced by every household in the populace. Earlier these surveys were conducted manually, the field scientists would go door to door — record data, study, observe, and gain experience from the households being surveyed.
These surveys were conducted mainly to track the living standards, demographics and understand the socio-economic aspect of each household in a specific area.
Two primary household survey components
To get accurate information household survey has two surveys covering different aspects of a household to get a better understanding: Household roster & Questionnaire.
A household roster – Answers questions that needed specific information about a particular household.
- What is their relationship to the head of the household?
- What is the age and gender of every member?
- What level of education do they have, are they literate?
- How many children and adults are there in the household?
- Are the children studying?
- Which age groups do the members of the household fall in?
The Questionnaire – Captures the specific details of every individual in the household.
- Who is the head of the household?
- How many members of the household are married?
- Information about personal life, marriage, children, etc. are covered in this Questionnaire.