A family consists of a married or cohabiting couple or persons in a registered partnership and their children living together; or either of the parents and his or her children living together; or a married or cohabiting couple and persons in a registered partnership without children.

Starting from 1 March 2002, same-sex couples have been able to register their partnerships.

Persons living in the household-dwelling unit who are not members of the nuclear family are not included in the family population, even if they are related, unless they form their own family. Brothers and sisters or cousins living together are not a family and do not belong to the family population. The same applies to people who live alone or with a person of the same sex.

Families living in residential homes are included in the family population. In contrast, persons who live in institutions are not included.

A family can consist of no more than two successive generations. If the household-dwelling unit comprises more than two generations, the family is formed starting from the youngest generation. This means, for example, that a mother-in-law or father-in-law living with their child's family will not be included in the family population unless they live together with their spouse, in which case the old couple form their own family.

A family with underage children refers to a family which has at least one child aged under 18 living at home.

Statistics using the definition

Validity of the definition

  • Valid

Source organisation

  • Tilastokeskus