Non-decent homes

The main facts and figures show that:

  • in 2015 to 2017, around 4.5 million (20%) of the estimated 23 million households in England lived in a non-decent home (that is, their home was not in a reasonable state of repair, didn’t have reasonably modern facilities and services, or had ineffective insulation or heating
  • 20% of White British households lived in a non-decent home
  • White Irish (11%) and Mixed White and Black Caribbean households (8%) were less likely to live in a non-decent home compared with White British households
Things you need to know

Compared with White British households, ethnic minority households tend to:

To ensure that there is a large enough number of ethnic minority households to produce reliable findings, the data is drawn from the English Housing Survey (EHS) for 2 years combined: 2015/16 and 2016/17.

You should avoid comparing these findings with those from last year. This is because last year’s findings were based on EHS data from 2014/15 and 2015/16, so the source for last year’s and this year’s findings overlap.

Information published in the EHS headline report and other annual reports is usually based on a 12-month period, rather than the 2 years’ combined data used here. As a result, the statistics shown here may not match those in the EHS reports.

The commentary has focused on findings based on subgroups of at least 30 households to ensure that only reliable findings are reported. For this reason, estimates for Gypsy, Traveller or Irish Traveller, Mixed White and Asian, and Other Black households have not been presented in some of the tables or charts.

It is not possible to look in detail at the characteristics of the type of households that live in non-decent homes. This is because the sample sizes of individual ethnic groups when broken down by other characteristics such as income, socio-economic group, region or age are not large enough to give reliable estimates.

The English Housing Survey (EHS) is a ‘sample survey’: it collects information from a random sample of the population to make generalisations (reach 'findings’) about the total population.

The commentary for this data only includes reliable, or ‘statistically significant’, findings.

Findings are statistically significant when we can be confident that they can be repeated, and are reflective of the total population rather than just the survey sample.

Specifically, the statistical tests used mean we can be confident that if we carried out the same survey on different random samples of the population, 19 times out of 20 we would get similar findings.

What the data measures

This data measures the percentage of households in England who lived in a ‘non-decent’ home, broken down by ethnicity.

The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) published a definition of a decent home in 2006, which states that a house must:

  • meet the current minimum standard for housing set out in law
  • be in a reasonable state of repair
  • have reasonably modern facilities and services
  • have effective insulation and heating

A home is classed as non-decent if it fails to meet this definition.

The figures are drawn from the 2015/16 and 2016/17 English Housing Survey (EHS). The survey involves face-to-face interviews with about 13,300 randomly-selected households every year.

These are used to make estimates for the 23 million households in England as a whole.

The EHS is a national survey of people's housing circumstances and the condition and energy efficiency of homes.

The information relates to households. A household is one person or a group of people (not necessarily related) who have the accommodation as their only or main residence. If it is a group, they must share cooking facilities and also share a living room, sitting room or dining area.

Some households contain people from different ethnic backgrounds. In these circumstances, the ethnic background of the ‘household reference person’ (usually the person in whose name the home is owned) is used to define the ethnic background of the household.

Nearly all the household reference persons – more than 99.8% interviewed – gave information on their ethnicity.

The ethnic categories used in this data

For comparisons made at national level, this data uses the following 18 ethnic groups based on the 2011 Census.

White:

  • English/Welsh/Scottish/Northern Irish/British
  • Irish
  • Gypsy, Traveller or Irish Traveller
  • Any other White background

Mixed/Multiple ethnic groups:

  • White and Black Caribbean
  • White and Black African
  • White and Asian
  • Any other Mixed/Multiple ethnic background

Asian/Asian British:

  • Indian
  • Pakistani
  • Bangladeshi
  • Chinese
  • Any other Asian background

Black/African/Caribbean/Black British:

  • African
  • Caribbean
  • Any other Black/African/Caribbean background

Other ethnic group:

  • Arab
  • Any other ethnic group

Ethnic groups and how data on ethnicity is collected

Households living in non-decent homes by ethnicity

Percentage and number of households (in thousands) living in non-decent homes by ethnicity

Ethnicity % Number of non-decent homes ('000s) All households ('000s)
Asian
Bangladeshi 14 19 135
Chinese 23 20 87
Indian 21 98 463
Pakistani 28 93 331
Asian other 23 51 224
Black
Black African 19 78 414
Black Caribbean 19 63 334
Black other withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable
Mixed
Mixed White/Asian withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable
Mixed White/Black African 26 19 74
Mixed White/Black Caribbean 8 8 96
Mixed other 23 16 69
White
White British 20 3,731 19,010
White Irish 11 22 192
White Gypsy/Traveller withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable
White other 19 213 1,129
Other
Arab 20 17 85
Any other 17 41 247

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • in 2015 to 2017, 20% of White British households – around 3.7 million households – lived in a non-decent home (that is, their home was not in a reasonable state of repair, didn’t have reasonably modern facilities and services, or had ineffective insulation or heating
  • White Irish, and Mixed White and Black Caribbean households were less likely to live in non-decent homes compared with White British households, at 11% and 8% respectively

Methodology

Methodology

The English Housing Survey involves face-to-face interviews with a random sample of about 13,300 households a year.

The dwellings of about 6,000 of the interviewed households are randomly selected to take part in the physical survey element carried out by a qualified surveyor. In addition, a random sample of around 200 of the dwellings identified by the interviewer as vacant are also included in the physical survey element.

Weighting:

Weights are applied to the sample to produce estimates for the 23 million households in England as a whole.

Suppression rules and disclosure control

Estimates based on fewer than 30 households have not been included in these statistics, because small numbers of households make it impossible to draw meaningful conclusions.

More detailed data, including some potentially disclosive data, is protected by a range of disclosure controls. See the guidance on English Housing Survey datasets for information accessing this data.

Rounding

Percentages shown in the charts and tables are rounded to the nearest whole number. Download the data to see figures rounded to 1 decimal place.

Figures for the numerator and denominator are weighted and rounded to the nearest whole number in the download files. Therefore, calculations of the percentages using these values may differ to the percentage figures shown on this page, which have been calculated using unrounded figures.

Related publications

English Housing Survey information and publications.

Quality and methodology information

Data sources

Source

Type of data

Survey data

Type of statistic

National Statistics

Publisher

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

Publication frequency

Yearly

Purpose of data source

The English Housing Survey is a continuous national survey commissioned by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG). It collects information about people’s housing circumstances and the condition and energy efficiency of housing in England.

Download the data

Households living in non-decent homes - Spreadsheet (csv) 3 KB

This file contains the following: measure, time, time-type, ethnicity, ethnicity type, geography, numerator, value, denominator, sample size