In what type of households do young people live: Household size and household composition of participants in Youth Saving Diaries Study (Nigeria, Morocco and Senegal)

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Often when we study young people’s financial behaviour, we may not take into account the family composition that potentially could influence their financial behaviour and decisions. L-IFT conducted a diaries study on ‘young people’s saving’ focusing on young people aged 15 to 30 in Nigeria, Senegal and Morocco. One of the assumptions was young people have money to save and contribute to household income. This article describes young people’s household demographics.

To learn about the households of our diaries respondents, we posed a range of questions, including “what is the composition of the household? Who is the household head? what ages are household members? Who contributes to the household income and who doesn’t?” Answering these questions helps us to get a sense of our participants in the diaries study. The below findings are based on data collected from 346 young people in Nigeria, Morocco and Senegal on one of the weekly special questions.


# What is the size of the household?      


Number of household members        
Country Mean Median Minimum Maximum Number of respondents
Morocco 2 2 1 8 122
Nigeria 3 2 1 7 108
Senegal 4 4 1 14 116


Our participants in the study lived in household with average size of 2 to 4 with the highest recorded for Senegal. The maximum number of members per household was 14 for Senegal, 8 for Morocco and 7 for Nigeria.


# Who is the household head?


Gender of household head (percentage)

Country Man Woman
Morocco 89 11
Nigeria 80 20
Senegal 92 8


As can be expected, most household heads are men in all three countries. The prevalence of women headed household is low in all three countries. Out of this, the highest is recorded for Nigeria where 20 percent are women-headed households.


Age of household head

Country Mean Median Minimum Maximum Number of respondents
Morocco 36 37 18 70 122
Nigeria 46 50 19 75 108
Senegal 49 49 22 96 116


The average age of household head for Morocco is 36; for Nigeria is 46 and for Senegal is 49.


# Who are the household members?


Age categories of household members-Percentage

Country Under 5 6 to 12 13 to 19 20 to 29 30 to 45 46 to 59 above 60 Not sure
Morocco 10 12 18 26 9 8 3 12
Nigeria 12 20 26 30 4 3 0 4
Senegal 9 17 21 22 13 4 3 10


The age group most strongly represented is ‘20 to 29’ for all three countries.


# Income of household members


Income of household members-Percentage

Country Yes No
Morocco 31 69
Nigeria 27 73
Senegal 28 72


In all three countries less than one third of household members have income.


# Income of household members part of household




Country Yes No
Morocco 54 46
Nigeria 21 79
Senegal 43 57


Out of those who have income, 54 percent said it is part of household income in Morocco, 43 percent in Senegal and only 21 percent said it is part of household income in Nigeria.


# Income of household members half or more part of household


Income more than half for household:  percentage

Country Yes No
Morocco 77 23
Nigeria 69 31
Senegal 84 16


Only those who said their income is part of household income were asked whether this is half or more going to household income. Most of them said “yes, it is half or more part of household income” in all three countries.


By Mahlet Alemayehu