15 Jun 2024

Last update 20 / 09 / 2017

26 terms and definitions used in the Household Spending and Income Survey

1. Administrative Region:

Part of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that is administered by a government agency which is directly affiliated with the Ministry of Interior such as Riyadh and Makkah ... etc. Each administrative region has a capital city.

2. Province:

It is part of the administrative region, the second-level of the subdivisions and reports directly to region, such as Al-Kharj Province of Riyadh Region.

3. Municipality:

The administrative entity that reports to a province such as al-Dilam municipality of Al-Kharj Province. Others report directly to the Emirate headquarter such as Irqah which reports directly to Riyadh. Some municipalities report to other municipalities like Uyaynah of Halat Ammar in Tabuk region.

4. Populated locality:

A static population cluster such as a city, village or a farm, or non-static like cluster around a water source.

5. City:

A populated locality that has a municipality or a population of over 5000.

6. District:

Part of a city that includes buildings, streets and roads, with a commonly recognized name. It is usually surrounded by main streets dividing it from other neighborhoods. Citywide, districts numbering starts with 001 and ends with the number of the last one in a city.

7. Sector:

A statistical division used for statistical purposes in cities. It is a geographically clustered area which represents a part of a district, and usually surrounded by main streets. At the district level, sectors numbering starts with 01 and ends with the number of the last one in a district.

8. Counting area:

It is a statistical division consisting of a geographical area comprising a number of buildings, housing units, and households, at an average of (150) households;

9. Block:

A geographical area surrounded by streets, and comprises a building or a number of contiguous buildings that are not separated by streets. It takes various shapes including a square, rectangle, circle or irregular-shaped space as in old neighborhoods. The block might also be an open space. At the sector level, blocks numbering starts with 001 and ends with the number of the last one in a sector.

10. Building:

It is any independent construction, permanently or temporarily built on land. A building might be single- or multi-story. It contains one or more rooms, with one or more doors leading to all or most of its parts. A building may be inhabited or not. It may be constructed to be inhabited, or to be used for practicing any economic, social or religious activities such as: Villa, house, formwork, government department, hospital or mosque. Buildings were given serial numbers at the block or locality level.

11. Dwelling:

It is a single- or multi-room unit which is primarily prepared for one family and has one separate door, whether it was still under construction, occupied or inhabited during the survey and enumeration. The dwelling might accommodate one or more households, one or more businesses, or a household and a business simultaneously. For the census purposes, every inhabited building during the numbering period shall be counted as a dwelling, even if it was not set up for that purpose such as workshops and schools. A villa, house, apartment, tent, shack and workform are types of dwellings.

12. Time reference

There are three time references of the Household Spending and Income Survey as follows: 

1-Population and housing data (section II and III) are based on the day of the visit to the household. 

2- Data of the daily spending (Section V) and monthly spending (Section VI) are based on the survey month when the household was examined.

3- Data of the durable goods (Section VII) and income (Section VIII) are based on the year that ends by the end of the survey month in which the household was examined.

13. Household:

A person or a group of persons - with or without kinship binding them to one another - who share residence during the enumeration. The household includes:

- Individuals who usually live with the household but they were absent while the survey was conducted for being temporarily away (abroad or in the kingdom). For example: businessmen, tourists, people who travel for medication, students on scholarship outside the kingdom.

- Individuals who usually live with the household but were absent while the survey was conducted for taking night shifts, such as guards, physicians, nurses, airport staff and fishers.

- Domestic workers such as servants, drivers and the like who live with the same household.

- Family members who are on a trip during the time of the survey.

14. Head of the Household:

It refers to the person regarded by the family members as their chairman who takes decisions and aged 15+ years old. If the household consisted of children and their mother, the mother shall be considered as the head of the household.

15. Nationality

Name of the state to which the individual belongs from the political perspective regardless of the birthplace. In this field, the nationality of every member of the household, whether Saudi or non-Saudi, is selected. As for non-Saudis, the nationality is selected in details such as (Egyptian, Indian, Pakistani, and South Korean). The nationality of the household members cannot be deduced from the nationality of the head of the household. The household may include individuals from different nationalities. As for the persons who carry more than one nationality, meaning carry more than one passport, the nationality by which he entered the kingdom is selected.

  • Nationalities of the GCC States
  • Nationalities of Arab League states
  • Nationalities of the Asian countries (except Arab states)
  • Nationalities of the African countries (except Arab states)
  • Nationalities of European countries
  • Nationalities of the Americas states 
  • Nationalities of Oceania countries

16. Marital status:

All members of the household are classified according to their marital status in the following categories: 

  • Single
  • Married
  • Divorced 
  • Widow(er)

• Hanging woman and abandoned woman: is the one who applied for divorce and the husband refused to divorce or is bargaining for it 

17. Population

It refers to all individuals, Saudis and non-Saudis, who live in the Kingdom at the time of the survey.

18. Survey population:

The members of the households selected in the sample, including domestic workers, and the like, who live in one dwelling.


19. Income of the Household:

For the purposes of this survey, the income of the household is the total annual cash and in-kind income collected from the incomes of all household members (regardless of age or kind) during the year that preceded the date of visiting the household, which allows the household to spend on different aspects of spending, save or invest it.

The household often relies in covering expenses on what it gets from different sources of income. In case the household income is insufficient, it resorts to filling in this deficit by acting on some capital and transfer operations such as sale of land plot, securities or borrowing from the other.

Similarly, in case the household has a surplus due to increased income, the household often saves or invests this surplus such as buying gold, land or securities or depositing it in banks. 

Sources of household income can be classified as follows:

  • Salaries and cash and in-kind wages including overtime pay, allowances and bonuses.
  • The income obtained by rents of real estate properties, including buildings and non-agricultural lands.
  • The net income from projects in (commercial, industrial, agricultural and service establishments as well as free professions, and profit of stocks speculation...).
  • It is also the net income from projects outside the establishments, i.e. the business carried out outside the establishments and that has no fixed place for carrying out the business such as salesmen and taxis (transport, passengers, cargo, etc.). 
  • Net income means the total revenues (production) of which operation charges (salaries, wages, services, and raw materials) are subtracted.
  • Property income: including distributed profits of stocks, shares, securities, investment certificates, distributed revenues, drawing out from quasi-corporations, agricultural lands rent, intellectual property income, interest on deposits and accrued bonds of any one of the family members during the survey year, whether from inside or outside the Kingdom.
  • Income from current transfers, i.e. government aid (cash or in-kind), charity aid, aid from individuals and relatives (among households), retirement pensions and remunerations, social insurance, insurance companies compensations, and other current transfers such as dowry, alimony, inheritance, and awards of competitions, etc.
  • Income from other sources, including household production (outside the establishments), securities, loans (whether from institutions or individuals), as well as sales of used durable goods, assets sales, loan repay, drawing from previous savings, grants and gifts, etc.

20. Spending of the Household:

Household spending is the total spending on consumer commodities and services and expenses on non-consumer commodities and services. Expenses on non-consumer commodities and services are the expenses borne by the household in regards to mandatory and non-compulsory transfers to the government, non-profit organizations and other households or spending on capital commodities without possessing any commodity or services in return for fulfilling the needs of the household members. Household spending represents the total expenses that the household has to pay for fulfilling its needs and meeting its legal obligations.

In other words, it is the value of the household expenses in return for getting commodities or services, whether spending on food, accommodation or electricity or spending by some family members on clothes or personal equipment during the time reference of the survey.

It also includes spending on servants and the like, consumption of any commodity produced by the household or obtained from an establishment owned by the household during the time reference of the survey.

21. Possession of a residential unit: 

Possession refers to arrangements by the household regarding the dwelling where they live. It includes the following: Rent of the residential unit, ownership of the unit offered by employer, free-of-charge accommodation or other cases occupying all or part of the residential unit. Types of possession includes: Ownership by the household members, renting all or part of a residential unit, offered by the employer for free or other cases.

22. Mortgage for a residential unit: 

It is a loan that helps the borrower, whether individual or establishment, to borrow money to buy a house or another property. His ownership of this property is a guarantee to the loan. In case he is unable to repay the loan, the lender has the right to take all measures to own this property. In another case, this property remains mortgaged until the loan is repaid.

Some Muslim scholars have agreed that this type of loans is religiously allowed, while others say it is not allowed due to religious contraindications.

23. Saving: 

Saving is a basic economic phenomenon in the life of individuals and communities. It is the surplus income from consumption; i.e. the difference between income and spending on consumer goods and services Therefore, some call saving as "surplus".

Saving is a deduction that aims to compose a reserve. This reserve can be used for investment or future consumption At the personal financial level, saving can reduce the risks and help saving funds from a bigger risk. There are two types of savings:

Optional saving: It is a free saving that the individual does voluntarily and willingly for balancing between two situations: Spending his income and abstaining from this spending

Compulsory Saving: It is a saving that the individuals are forced to do as a result of legal requirements, government decrees or company decisions. Retirement pensions are included in this case.

24. Assets:

Assets in business and accounting are the economic resources owned by individuals, businessmen or an establishment It is any tangible or intangible property that is appropriate for paying debts Assets are the valuable personal properties that can be easily turned into cash (though cash is itself one of the assets)

25. Financial status of the Household: 

Economic status and financial organization of the household are one of the most important concepts regarding the domestic household. Economic status and financial organization mean fulfilling the humanitarian needs by the household The need is the desire to get something whether this thing is visible (as a commodity) or invisible as a service or comes to fulfill and obtain it. The readiness of the household to pay for fulfilling these needs is proportionally commensurate with its ability to pay and the importance of this need to it. 

The need of the household is often confined to the following: Food, drink, clothes, housing, security, social needs, cultural needs, transportation and communications.

26. Cost of living:

Cost of maintaining a certain level of living. It includes the daily expenses needed by the household for spending on food, clothes, transportations and similar items.

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