Overcrowded households

Published

Last updated 7 August 2020 - see all updates

1. Main facts and figures

  • in 2014 to 2017, around 679,000 (3%) of the estimated 23 million households in England were overcrowded (that is, they had fewer bedrooms than they needed to avoid undesirable sharing)
  • around 2% of White British households experienced overcrowding, compared with 30% of Bangladeshi households (the highest percentage)
  • across all socio-economic groups, age groups, most regions and income bands, and regardless of whether they owned or rented their home, White British households were less likely to be overcrowded than households from all other ethnic groups combined

2. Things you need to know

What the data measures

This data measures the number and percentage of households that are overcrowded, by ethnic group.

A household is overcrowded if it has fewer bedrooms than it needs to avoid undesirable sharing, based on the age, sex and relationship of household members. For example, one bedroom would be needed by:

  • a married or cohabiting couple
  • someone aged 21 or over
  • 2 children of the same sex aged 10 to 20 years old
  • 2 children of any sex under 10 years old

The information relates to households, which is either one person or a group of people sharing cooking facilities and a living room or dining area.

Percentages are rounded to the nearest whole number but have been worked out using unrounded numbers.

Not included in the data

Estimates based on fewer than 30 households have not been included. This is because it is harder to make reliable generalisations from smaller numbers of survey respondents.

The ethnic groups used in the data

For data analysed by ethnicity, the 18 standardised ethnic groups from the 2011 Census are shown.

For data analysed by ethnicity and another factor, 2 ethnic groups are shown:

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

This is to keep group sizes big enough to be able to make reliable generalisations.

Each household’s ethnic group is the ethnicity of the ‘household reference person’ (usually the named homeowner). There may be people of different ethnicities in the same household.

The ethnicity was known for 99.8% of households.

Methodology

Read the detailed methodology document for this data.

The data is an average for the years ending March 2015, March 2016 and March 2017. This is to make sure there are enough households to be able to make reliable generalisations.

The figures on this page are based on survey data. Find out more about interpreting survey data, including how reliability is affected by the number of people surveyed.

In the data file

See Download the data for:

  • figures rounded to 1 decimal place
  • sample sizes
  • weighted figures for the numerator and denominator

3. By ethnicity

Percentage and number of households (in thousands) that were overcrowded, by ethnicity
Ethnicity % Overcrowded households ('000s) All households ('000s)
Asian
Bangladeshi 30 37 121
Chinese 7 9 123
Indian 7 35 517
Pakistani 16 55 338
Asian other 10 20 212
Black
Black African 15 60 396
Black Caribbean 8 23 284
Black other 13 4 34
Mixed
Mixed White/Asian 3 2 59
Mixed White/Black African 8 7 78
Mixed White/Black Caribbean 6 6 97
Mixed other 3 1 44
White
White British 2 306 18,816
White Irish 4 8 181
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 81 1,152
Other
Arab 15 10 69
Any other 7 16 240

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity’ (CSV)

Summary of Overcrowded households By ethnicity Summary

The number of Gypsy or Irish Traveller households in the data is very small. To avoid disclosing personal information about people in those groups, information about them is not presented in some of the tables and charts.

The data shows that:

  • in the 3 years to March 2017, 680,000 (3%) of the 23 million households in England were overcrowded (that is, they had fewer bedrooms than they needed to avoid undesirable sharing)
  • Bangladeshi households had the highest rate of overcrowding, at 30% (around 37,000 households)
  • 2% of White British households (around 306,000 households) lived in an overcrowded home

4. By ethnicity and socio-economic group

Percentage and number of households (in thousands) that were overcrowded, by ethnicity and socio-economic group
White British Other than White British
Socio-economic group White British % White British Overcrowded households ('000s) White British All households ('000s) Other than White British % Other than White British Overcrowded households ('000s) Other than White British All households ('000s)
Higher managerial, administrative and professional occupations 1 61 7,652 6 86 1,467
Intermediate occupations 1 56 3,887 10 76 740
Routine and manual occupations 3 157 6,195 12 156 1,346

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity and socio-economic group’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity and socio-economic group’ (CSV)

Summary of Overcrowded households By ethnicity and socio-economic group Summary

This data shows that:

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

5. By ethnicity and income

Percentage and number of households (in thousands) that were overcrowded, by ethnicity and weekly income
White British Other than White British
Weekly income band White British % White British Overcrowded households ('000s) White British All households ('000s) Other than White British % Other than White British Overcrowded households ('000s) Other than White British All households ('000s)
Up to £99 0 0 196 2 1 53
£100 to £199 1 9 1,576 7 22 314
£200 to £299 1 25 2,164 9 37 400
£300 to £399 1 32 2,144 13 59 470
£400 to £499 2 35 1,749 14 55 392
£500 to £599 2 34 1,648 11 42 364
£600 to £699 2 36 1,548 8 27 326
£700 to £799 2 27 1,258 7 20 265
£800 to £899 2 18 1,095 7 16 232
£900 to £999 2 15 887 10 18 186
£1000 and above 2 74 4,439 8 73 917

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity and income’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity and income’ (CSV)

Summary of Overcrowded households By ethnicity and income Summary

This data shows that:

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

6. By ethnicity and area

Percentage and number of households (in thousands) that were overcrowded, by ethnicity and area
White British Other than White British
Region White British % White British Overcrowded households ('000s) White British All households ('000s) Other than White British % Other than White British Overcrowded households ('000s) Other than White British All households ('000s)
North East 2 18 1,084 6 4 60
North West 1 37 2,732 9 32 351
Yorkshire and the Humber 1 29 2,002 6 14 255
East Midlands 1 19 1,711 9 22 236
West Midlands 2 36 1,963 8 30 385
East 2 35 2,179 7 24 334
London 3 48 1,721 12 198 1,654
South East 2 51 3,204 7 37 507
South West 2 34 2,221 8 13 172

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity and area’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity and area’ (CSV)

Summary of Overcrowded households By ethnicity and area Summary

This data shows that:

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

7. By ethnicity and age group

Percentage and number of households (in thousands) that were overcrowded, by ethnicity and age group
White British Other than White British
Age group White British % White British Overcrowded households ('000s) White British All households ('000s) Other than White British % Other than White British Overcrowded households ('000s) Other than White British All households ('000s)
16 - 24 3 19 562 8 16 201
25 - 34 3 65 2,364 10 93 944
35 - 44 3 85 2,855 12 130 1,110
45 - 54 2 89 3,742 11 88 803
55 - 64 1 34 3,295 7 30 436
65 or over 0 14 5,998 4 17 458

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity and age group’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity and age group’ (CSV)

Summary of Overcrowded households By ethnicity and age group Summary

This data shows that:

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

8. By ethnicity and type of occupancy (owning or renting)

Percentage and number of households (in thousands) affected by overcrowding, by ethnicity and type of occupancy (renting or owning)
White British Other than White British
Housing tenure White British % White British Overcrowded households ('000s) White British All households ('000s) Other than White British % Other than White British Overcrowded households ('000s) Other than White British All households ('000s)
Owner occupiers 1 103 12,749 5 80 1,602
Social rented housing 4 136 3,071 15 131 852
Private rented housing 2 67 2,996 11 163 1,498

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity and type of occupancy (owning or renting)’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity and type of occupancy (owning or renting)’ (CSV)

Summary of Overcrowded households By ethnicity and type of occupancy (owning or renting) Summary

This data shows that:

  • White British households were less likely to be overcrowded compared with households from all other ethnic groups combined, regardless of whether they owned or rented their home

9. Data sources

Source

Type of data

Survey data

Type of statistic

National Statistics

Publisher

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

Note on corrections or updates

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.

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. It collects information about people’s housing circumstances and the condition and energy efficiency of housing in England.

10. Download the data

Overcrowded households - Spreadsheet (csv) 17 KB

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