Population Matters

One million UK households overcrowded

One million UK households overcrowded

The latest census analysis by ONS looks into the occupancy ratings of different household types in England and Wales. The 2011 Census was the first census that collected occupancy ratings for bedrooms. An occupancy rating shows whether a household is overcrowded or under-occupied. This is based on the number of bedrooms available minus the recommended bedroom standard. The standard used by local authorities for applying the removal of the spare room subsidy on households, commonly known as the ‘bedroom tax’, may differ from the standard used in this analysis.

The analysis revealed that out of 23.4 million households in England and Wales in 2011, 1.1 million (4.5%) were overcrowded and overcrowding was most likely to occur in socially rented (8.7%) and privately rented households (8.6%), compared with owner occupied (2.3%). However, most households (16.1 million) were under-occupied and under-occupancy was most likely to occur in owner occupied households (82.7%), compared with privately rented (49.5%) and socially rented households (39.4%). Overall, there were 6.2 million households that matched the bedroom standard.

Office for National Statistics analysis

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