1. Overview

Many of us know the value of our work because we get paid for it, but what about the unpaid work we do − like cooking, cleaning, DIY and childcare?

The Household Satellite Account (HHSA) measures and values the unpaid outputs produced by households in the UK. Experimental estimates for the year 2000 can be found in the UK Account. Work is ongoing as part of the Measuring National Well-being Programme to develop and update these estimates.

Details of the different activities which make up the account are summarised on the Household Satellite Account modules page and defined in more detail in the Complete Household Satellite Account file.

The HHSA is produced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) as part of a series of experimental statistics.

This work is part of a wide range of statistics covering different aspects of the economy.

Feedback from potential users is welcome. Please email hhsa@ons.gsi.gov.uk

Downloads

Complete Household Satellite Account (4.22 Mb ZIP)

Household Satellite Account methodology (245.2 Kb Pdf)

Household Satellite Account estimates (833.2 Kb ZIP)

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2. About the Household Satellite Account

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is developing a Household Satellite Account (HHSA), which, for the first time, will measure and value the outputs produced by households in the UK.

This unpaid work is not included in the UK National Accounts, and its measurement will provide a means by which we may monitor how the economy is affected by the way patterns of unpaid work are changing.

The information will also be of use to policy makers where significant amounts of unpaid work need to be taken into account.

The HHSA is part of the ONS series of experimental statistics.

During the development phase we are actively seeking feedback from potential users and would welcome your comments, which can be sent via email to hhsa@ons.gsi.gov.uk

The HHSA has been divided into a number of smaller projects covering the different areas of activity.

The outputs relate to providing housing, transport, nutrition, clothing and laundry services, childcare, adult care and voluntary work.

The outputs are journeys, meals, children looked after, etc.

The related inputs are purchases of goods and services, use of equipment and time/labour.

More detail can be found at the Household Satellite Account activities link or in the Complete Household Satellite Account download file (4.22Mb ZIP).

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3. Household Satellite Account activities

The Household Satellite Account (HHSA) has been divided into a number of smaller projects covering the different areas of activity.

The outputs relate to providing:

  • housing

  • transport

  • nutrition

  • clothing and laundry services

  • childcare

  • adult care

  • voluntary work

The outputs are journeys, meals, children looked after, etc.

The related inputs are purchases of goods and services, use of equipment and time/labour.

This is an outline of this work. More detail on individual projects can be found in the download files Complete Household Satellite Account and Household Satellite Account methodology.

UK account

This brings together the estimates of the output of housing, transport, nutrition, clothing and laundry services, childcare, adult care and voluntary activity, and shows the related inputs of intermediate consumption and household capital, and the calculation of gross and net value added.

It also shows the adjustments that must be made to the National Accounts Gross Domestic Product estimates, if the HHSA estimates were to be combined with them.

Housing

The volume and value of clean, warm, furnished, maintained accommodation provided by owner-occupier households have been estimated, as well as the provision of furnishings and maintenance − cleaning, gardening and DIY − by tenants.

Part of the value of housing is an input into projects where the accommodation costs are included in the price used to value the output, such as residential care of the elderly.

Transport

The volume and value of the total distance travelled by groups have been estimated.

This includes all transport provided by the household − by car, motor bike, bicycle and other private vehicles, and on foot, but excludes travel for its own sake, for example, walking for exercise or pleasure.

Data on the purpose of the journeys indicates how much transport is used in the other projects, for example, transport related to food shopping is a component of the nutrition project.

Nutrition

The volume and value of meals and hot drinks prepared in the home have been estimated.

The meals are valued according to the main ingredients, whether they include a starter and/or dessert and whether they are for adults or children (under 10).

Part of the output of nutrition is an input to projects where the cost of meals is included in the price used to value the output, for example, continuous care of the elderly.

Clothing and laundry services

The value of garments produced in the home has been estimated, but due to the nature of the calculation, there is no volume estimate.

Both the volume and value of washing and ironing have also been estimated.

Childcare

The volume and value of informal childcare have been estimated, using information on formal care in playgroups, nurseries, schools, clubs and by paid carers, and assumptions about the total amount of supervision that is required for different age groups.

Adult care

The volume and value of informal adult care have been estimated, according to whether the care is continuous or non-continuous.

Non-continuous care has been categorised by the type and frequency of care given.

Whenever care is from family, friends and neighbours, it is included in this estimate.

Voluntary activity

The volume and value of unpaid activity for or on behalf of a voluntary organisation has been estimated using an input approach, that is, measuring the hours provided by households, rather than the outputs produced by volunteers.

Voluntary activity includes, for example, serving on a committee, running a Guide company or helping with a sports club.

Intermediate consumption

The value of what households purchase, in order to produce the outputs listed above, has been estimated.

This includes anything that is either used up or altered in the course of production, for example, cooking ingredients, washing powder, etc.

Household capital

The value of the consumption of capital used in the household production process has been estimated. Household capital includes items such as dishwashers, washing machines, cars and owner-occupied dwellings.

Time/labour

The time spent on different household production activities has been estimated using the UK 2000 Time Use survey.

The input of time is linked to the appropriate outputs and other inputs, in order to calculate the effective return to labour.

This programme of work is part of the National Statistics economy theme.

It is also related to the National Statistics people and places theme.

Information on the household sector is available within the National Accounts.

Downloads

Complete Household Satellite Account (4.22 Mb ZIP)

Household Satellite Account methodology (245.2 Kb Pdf)

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4. Household Satellite Account acknowledgements

We would like to thank the following for their advice and comments during the first phase of the development of a methodology for the Household Satellite Account:

Past and present members of the Programme Board

Claire Callender (South Bank University)
Melanie Dawes (HM Treasury)
Patrick Heady (Office for National Statistics (ONS))
Angelika Hibbett (Women and Equality Unit)
Sue Himmelweit (Open University)
Helen John (HM Treasury)
Sue Lewis (Women and Equality Unit)
Charles Lound (ONS)
Jil Matheson (ONS)
Peter Nolan (Leeds University)
Sanjiv Mahajan (ONS)
Jim O'Donoghue (ONS)
Matthew Powell (ONS)
Amanda Rowlatt (ONS)

Non-ONS members of the various project boards

Helmut Anheier (London School of Economics)
Steve Ellerd-Elliot (Department for Work and Pensions)
Kathy Gaskin (Gaskin Research and Consultancy)
Steve Howlett (Institute for Volunteering Research)
Meta Zimmeck (Home Office)

Colleagues in ONS and other government departments, past and present, who collaborated with various projects

In particular: Members of the Statistical Methodology and Quality Division, Socio-Economic Inequalities Branch and the Time Use Survey Branch at ONS

Members of the Eurostat task force on Household Satellite Account methodology

in particular: Luisella Goldschmidt-Clermont and Johanna Varjonen

Sue Holloway
Sandra Short
Sarah Tamplin
Harminder Tiwana
Andrew Warby

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