Netflix, Spotify, and the U.S. Census approach the idea of household differently : The Indicator from Planet Money Love is sharing a password, but maybe not anymore. With streaming services cracking down on account sharing, this got The Indicator team wondering, what exactly is the definition of a household?

What is a 'household'?

What is a 'household'?

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Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images
Douglas Carrasquell of the organization Make the Road New York holds documents as he attends a training meeting about the National Census.
Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images

Picture a household. What comes to mind? While the idea of a household seems easy to imagine, organizations have their own definitions, from the U.S. Census Bureau to streaming services.

Individual consumers have their own conception of a household too. And navigating those boundaries can affect everything from how government benefits are distributed to who gets to share a Netflix account.

Special thanks to Howard Hogan, former chief demographer of the US Census Bureau, and Steve Pierson of the American Statistical Association.

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