Comprehensive study of the factors influencing household solid waste (HSW) generation is crucial and fundamental for exploring the generation mechanism and forecasting future dynamics of HSW. A case study of Xiamen Island, China was employed to reveal the direct and indirect effects of demographic/socioeconomic factors on solid waste generation at the urban household scale. Based on a face-to-face questionnaire and two-stage survey of solid waste generation, a path analysis model was built. Results showed that the proposed path model exhibited good fit indices. Family size and dinning-at-home rate (DR), whose coefficients were -0.40 and 0.43, respectively, were the two major factors influencing HSW directly. Moreover, family size, education level, employment rate and age structure played different degrees of indirect effects on HSW generation through respective paths, which should not be ignored. In terms of total effects, coefficients of family size, DR and employment rate were -0.46, 0.43 and -0.37, respectively, which were three most dominant factors influencing HSW generation. As for waste composition, organic waste was the most representative of HSW dynamics, and was the most sensitive to impact by the factors studied. Quantitative results of this study have important policy implications for sustainable municipal solid waste management.