Overcrowded households

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The main facts and figures show that:

  • around 678,000 (3%) of the estimated 22.6 million households in England were overcrowded in the time period studied

  • around 2% of White British households experienced overcrowding, compared with 30% of Bangladeshi households

  • across all socio-economic groups, age groups and type of occupancy, White British households were less likely to experienced overcrowding than households from all other ethnic groups, as well as in most income bands and regions in England

Things you need to know

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

  • be younger
  • have lived in England for a shorter time
  • be located in urban areas
  • live in larger households
  • live in rented accommodation

So 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), 2013/14, 2014/15 and 2015/16, combined.

Information about households available from the EHS Headline and Annual Reports is normally based on a 12-month period (April to March) of the survey. Because of this some of the statistics cited here may not match those in the Headline and Annual Reports.

The commentary only includes findings based on subgroups of at least 30 households to ensure that we report reliable findings. For this reason, information is not provided about Gypsy or Irish Traveller, Mixed White and Asian, Mixed White and Black Caribbean or Any Other Mixed/Multiple households.

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

For example, EHS findings might include the percentage of households who get help from their family to buy their own home.

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

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

What the data measures

This data measures household overcrowding and how different ethnic groups are affected.

Overcrowding is measured using the bedroom standard. This is the difference between the number of bedrooms needed to avoid undesirable sharing (based on the age, sex and relationship of household members) and the number of bedrooms actually available to the household.

For example, each married or cohabiting couple would be allowed a bedroom, as would an individual aged 21 or over and each pair of adolescents or children of the same sex. The bedroom standard is described in detail in the English Housing Survey Headline Report 2015-16 (PDF).

A household is counted as overcrowded if it has fewer bedrooms than it needs according to the bedroom standard.

The figures are drawn from the 2013/14, 2014/15 and 2015/16 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 22.6 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 in England.

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 they are a group they also must share cooking facilities and a living room, sitting room, or dining area.

The EHS has ethnicity information on the household reference person as well as all other members of the household. The household reference person is the person in whose name the dwelling is owned or rented or who is otherwise responsible for the accommodation.

Some households contain people from different ethnic backgrounds; in these circumstances, we have used the ethnic background of the household reference person to define the ethnic background of the household.

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

The data is shown for the 9 regions of England: North East, North West, Yorkshire and the Humber, East Midlands, West Midlands, East, London, South East and the South West.

The ethnic categories used in this data

For comparisons made at national level (England), this data uses the standardised 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

For data analysed both by ethnicity and by socio-economic group, income, region, age and type of occupancy, the following 2 ethnic groups been used:

  • White British
  • Other – all other ethnic groups (including White ethnic minorities and all other ethnic minorities)

This is because the number of people surveyed to generate estimates for the population as a whole becomes too small to be reliable when also broken down by ethnicity and by another factor like socio-economic group or income.

Data is therefore grouped to a size where estimates become reliable. In this case, information which is broken down by ethnicity and another factor compares White British with Other.

Ethnic groups and how data on ethnicity is collected

Overcrowded households by ethnicity

Percentage and number of households affected by overcrowding, by ethnicity

Ethnicity % Overcrowded households All households
Asian
Bangladeshi 30 32,465 108,241
Chinese 7 9,770 132,162
Indian 8 36,836 486,845
Pakistani 15 50,107 327,347
Asian other 10 22,247 213,555
Black
Black African 15 53,154 360,219
Black Caribbean 8 22,339 285,256
Black other 16 5,363 33,438
Mixed
Mixed White/Asian 3 1,904 64,126
Mixed White/Black African 7 5,239 75,210
Mixed White/Black Caribbean 4 4,374 98,107
Mixed other 5 2,171 43,212
White
White British 2 315,474 18,827,771
White Irish 5 9,689 202,418
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 7 78,902 1,052,401
Other
Arab 11 7,007 64,164
Any other 8 19,653 233,069

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • 678,000 (3%) of the 22.6 million households in England were overcrowded in the time period studied

  • Bangladeshi households had the highest rate of overcrowding at 30% (around 32,000 households)

  • 2% of White British households experienced overcrowding (around 315,000 households)

  • although the survey estimates show differences in the rates of overcrowding for Mixed White and Black Caribbean, Mixed White and Asian, and Other Mixed households compared with White British households, the number of households surveyed was too small to draw firm conclusions

Overcrowded households by ethnicity and socio-economic group

Percentage and number of households affected by overcrowding, by ethnicity and socio-economic group

White British All other ethnic groups
Socio-economic group % Overcrowded households All households % Overcrowded households All households
Higher managerial, administrative and professional occupations 1 59,423 7,583,359 6 87,153 1,376,604
Intermediate occupations 2 65,141 3,908,430 11 80,223 734,328
Routine and manual occupations 3 162,790 6,274,838 11 146,653 1,283,093

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • in every socio-economic group, White British households were less likely to experience overcrowding than households from all other ethnic groups combined

Overcrowded households by ethnicity and income

Percentage and number of households affected by overcrowding, by ethnicity and weekly income

White British All other ethnic groups
Weekly income band % Overcrowded households All households % Overcrowded households All households
Up to £99 0 0 219,652 1 856 63,678
£100 to £199 1 12,947 1,658,642 7 22,847 333,662
£200 to £299 1 27,102 2,330,425 7 29,454 401,075
£300 to £399 2 35,323 2,167,669 13 63,438 474,903
£400 to £499 2 37,957 1,769,992 13 56,462 426,782
£500 to £599 2 33,553 1,640,197 12 40,148 332,926
£600 to £699 2 35,478 1,540,292 8 22,416 296,515
£700 to £799 2 29,271 1,283,624 8 20,453 261,015
£800 to £899 2 20,393 1,076,614 9 19,869 210,022
£900 to £999 2 13,762 854,316 12 19,808 170,613
£1000 and above 2 69,688 4,284,737 8 65,635 814,503

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • in almost every income band, White British households were less likely to experience overcrowding than households from all other ethnic groups combined

  • although the survey estimates show differences in the rates of overcrowding for those earning less than £99 a week, the number of households surveyed was too small to draw firm conclusions

Overcrowded households by ethnicity and area

Percentage and number of households affected by overcrowding, by ethnicity and area

White British All other ethnic groups
Region % Overcrowded households All households % Overcrowded households All households
North East 2 17,632 1,083,531 7 3,812 57,729
North West 2 41,480 2,732,893 7 21,601 321,434
Yorkshire and The Humber 1 25,600 2,014,231 6 14,757 230,373
East Midlands 1 22,872 1,710,066 8 17,257 227,931
West Midlands 2 38,131 1,982,713 8 27,857 339,739
East of England 2 33,222 2,169,371 8 24,426 321,024
London 3 47,541 1,723,591 13 205,215 1,643,031
South East 2 52,399 3,193,654 8 36,299 486,885
South West 2 36,598 2,217,722 6 10,161 157,547

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • in almost every region of England, White British households were less likely to experience overcrowding than households from all other ethnic groups combined

  • although the survey estimates show differences in the rates of overcrowding in the North East between ethnic minority households and White British households, the number of households surveyed was too small to draw firm conclusions

Overcrowded households by ethnicity and age group

Percentage and number of households affected by overcrowding, by ethnicity and age group

White British All other ethnic groups
Age group % Overcrowded households All households % Overcrowded households All households
16 - 24 yrs old 3 17,244 573,254 9 17,354 202,590
25 - 34 yrs old 3 74,103 2,396,932 10 87,225 901,571
35 - 44 yrs old 3 90,418 2,941,139 12 125,466 1,044,794
45 - 54 yrs old 2 90,827 3,766,221 12 91,065 761,583
55 - 64 yrs old 1 29,835 3,249,826 6 24,590 413,099
65 yrs old or over 0 13,047 5,900,399 3 15,684 462,057

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • across all age groups, White British households were less likely to experience overcrowding than households from all other ethnic groups combined

Overcrowded households by ethnicity and type of occupancy

Percentage and number of households affected by overcrowding, by ethnicity and type of occupancy

White British All other ethnic groups
Housing tenure % Overcrowded households All households % Overcrowded households All households
Owner occupiers 1 102,116 12,733,724 6 88,075 1,574,662
Social rented housing 5 143,673 3,109,053 14 114,066 804,976
Private rented housing 2 69,685 2,984,994 11 159,244 1,406,057

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • ethnic minority households were more likely to experience overcrowding than White British households, regardless of whether they owned or rented their home

Methodology

Methodology

The EHS consists of:

  • face-to-face interviews with a random sample of about 13,300 households a year
  • a physical inspection of the homes of about 6,000 of the interviewed households – these are selected at random and carried out by a surveyor

The surveyor also inspects a random sample of about 200 properties identified by the interviewer as vacant.

Weighting:

Weighting is used to adjust the results of a survey to make them representative of the population.

For example, a survey which contains 25% females and 75% males will not accurately reflect the views of the general population, which we know is around 50% male and 50% female.

Statisticians rebalance or ‘weight’ the survey results to more accurately represent the general population. This helps to make them more reliable.

Survey weights are usually applied to make sure the survey sample has broadly the same gender, age, ethnic and geographic make up as the general population.

In the EHS, weighting makes the results more representative of the 22.6 million households in England.

Suppression rules and disclosure control

Estimates based on less than 30 households have not been included in these statistics, because small numbers of households make it impossible to draw meaningful conclusions. The analysis has been done by binary classification only where broken down by socio-economic group, income, region or age. This prevents small numbers appearing in the table and avoids the potential for identification of individuals.

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

Estimates in the charts and tables are given to the nearest whole number. You can get more detailed estimates to 1 decimal place if you download the data.

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 (EHS) is a continuous national survey commissioned by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG). It collects information about people’s housing circumstances and the condition and energy efficiency of housing in England.

Download the data

Overcrowded households - Spreadsheet (csv) 17 KB

This file contains the following: ethnicity, year, geography, age group, NS-SEC (socio-economic group), income, region, housing tenure, value, denominator, numerator and sample size