The composition of households

During the 2020 Population and Housing Census, 38,830 non-collective households were counted. Compared to the Census conducted in 1981, this signifies an increase of 160.2% of the number of non-collective households over the course of 40 years. In the same period of time, the population increased with 79.3%. In conclusion, households on Aruba are getting smaller. While in 1981, the majority of households were composed of 4 or more persons (54.3%), in 2020, only 28.3% of households counted 4 members or more. Since the year 2000, two-person households have become the norm, representing 28.3% of all households in 2020.
On the other hand, one-person households have been on the rise. In 2020, 23.6% of households were single-person households, up from 13.3% in 1981.

Source: Source: Population and Housing Census, 1981, 1991, 2000, 2010, 2020

Source: Source: Population and Housing Census, 1981, 1991, 2000, 2010, 2020

Types of household

According to recommendations of the United Nations, non-collective households are divided in y types: Single person households, nuclear households, extended households and composite households. Nuclear households are composed of a single family nucleus (couples with or without children, and single parents with children), while extended households and composite households are composed of one or more family nuclei and other persons who are either all related to each by legal/familial bonds (extended households) or who are not related to each other (composite households).
In addition, households can be defined according to the legal (formal) approach, which considers the legal (conjugal) bonds that group individuals together in families, or the consensual (sociological) approach, which takes into account both the legal and consensual bonds between individuals in households (e.g. couples living together without being married to each other).

In recent years, the consensual approach has gained in relevance due to the increase in the number of couples living together, without being married to each other.

Source: Source: Population and Housing Census, 2020

Family nuclei

The majority of the population of Aruba living in non-collective households lives in a household consisting of a couple (married or not married) with children. However, during the last 30 years, the percentage of the population living in this type of household decreased from 59.0% to 47.8%. On the other hand, the percentage of the population living in households consisting of couples without children increased from 10.7% to 15.2%.

Children in households

In a third of all households on Aruba (34.9%), there is at least one child between the ages of 0 and 17 years (Census 2020). The majority of children (60.7%) live in a nuclear household, 22.4% live in an extended household, and 16.5% live in a composite households with family members and non-family members. In total, 63.2% of all children live with a couple (married or unmarried), 30,3% live with a single mother and 3.2% with a single father.

Elderly  in households

In one out of every 3 households (33.3%), there is at least one person 65 years and older. Most elderly persons live in a nuclear household (42.9%), 24.1% live in an extended household, and 11.8% in a composite household. It is important to mention that 21.2% of all persons 65 years and older live alone. Overall, 37.8% of elderly persons live with a partner (either married or unmarried) without children, 12.0% live with a partner with children, 7.7% live as a single mother or father with children and 21.2% live alone in a single person household and 21.4% live as a single person in a household with other family members or non-family members.