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Number of households in Malaysia 2016-2019

In 2019, there were about eight million households in Malaysia, compared to 7.6 million in 2016. The increase in household numbers over the years coincided with the decreasing size of Malaysian households.

Importance of households as a unit in society

Households form a fundamental unit in society and the decisions taken at the household level shape and affect the economic, social and demographic processes of a country. A household is generally classified as a group of people living in one dwelling, and its members are not necessarily related to one another. Households as economic participants are both consumers of goods and services, and suppliers of labor and capital, whereas its composition and size reflect changing social norms and demographics.

How Malaysian households are changing

The decrease in fertility rate in Malaysia mirrored the decrease in household size. In 2019, the average Malaysian household was made up of four persons, compared to 4.09 in 2016. However, the size of urban households in Malaysia were significantly smaller than rural ones. This could be a contributing factor to the higher poverty rates in rural areas in Malaysia – rural households need to support more members on a significantly lower income than those of urban households.

Number of households in Malaysia from 2016 to 2019

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Release date

August 2019


Asia, Malaysia

Survey time period

2016 to 2019

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