Renting from a local authority or housing association (‘social housing’)

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The main facts and figures show that:

  • 3.9 million (17%) of the estimated 22.6 million households in England rented their home from a local authority or housing association ('social housing') in the time period studied

  • some ethnic minority households were more likely to rent social housing than White British households, while others were less likely

  • across most socio-economic groups, income bands and age groups, White British households were less likely to rent social housing than all other ethnic groups

  • ethnic minority households in London and the North West of England were more likely to rent social housing than White British households

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

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) 2014/15 and 2015/16.

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.

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

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 how likely people in different ethnic groups are to rent their home from a local authority or housing association (that is, rent ‘social housing’).

Social housing includes property rented from local authorities (including Arms’ Length Management Organisations and housing action trusts), housing associations, local housing companies, co-operatives and charitable trusts.

The figures are drawn from the 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, 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 income, socio-economic group, region and age, the following 2 ethnic groups have 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 that were surveyed to generate estimates for the population as a whole becomes too small to be reliable when broken down both by ethnicity (in either detailed or broad categories) 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 broken down by ethnicity and another factor compares White British with Other.

Ethnic groups and how data on ethnicity is collected

Households renting social housing by ethnicity

Percentage and number of households renting social housing by ethnicity

Ethnicity % Social housing households All households
Asian
Bangladeshi 42 41,000 98,000
Chinese 9 11,000 129,000
Indian 7 37,000 504,000
Pakistani 11 35,000 333,000
Asian other 14 30,000 218,000
Black
Black African 48 176,000 368,000
Black Caribbean 45 129,000 289,000
Black other 45 17,000 38,000
Mixed
Mixed White/Asian 18 12,000 66,000
Mixed White/Black African 35 28,000 80,000
Mixed White/Black Caribbean 37 37,000 99,000
Mixed other 34 11,000 32,000
White
White British 16 3,080,000 18,808,000
White Irish 32 58,000 184,000
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 13 143,000 1,078,000
Other
Arab 29 18,000 63,000
Any other 21 48,000 227,000

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • 16% of White British households rented their home from a local authority or housing association ('social housing')

  • Black African, Black Caribbean, Other Black and Bangladeshi households all had higher rates of renting social housing, at 48%, 45%, 45% and 42% respectively

  • Pakistani, Chinese and Indian households all had lower rates of renting social housing, at 11%, 9% and 7% respectively

  • although the chart and table show households from the Other Asian ethnic group were less likely to rent social housing compared to White British households, the sample size for this group was too small to draw firm conclusions

  • similarly, although the chart and table show that Mixed White and Asian households, Arab households, and those from the Any Other ethnic group were more likely to rent social housing than White British households, the sample sizes for these groups were too small to draw firm conclusions

Households renting social housing by ethnicity and socio-economic group

Percentage and number of households renting social housing by ethnicity and socio-economic group

White British All other ethnic groups
Socio-economic group % Social housing households All households % Social housing households All households
Higher managerial, administrative and professional occupations 5 373,673 7,635,539 10 138,604 1,400,849
Intermediate occupations 12 480,178 3,857,408 20 137,349 702,682
Routine and manual occupations 30 1,886,724 6,260,530 32 425,116 1,311,313

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • White British households in higher managerial, administrative and professional occupations and intermediate occupations were less likely to rent social housing than ethnic minority households

  • although the chart and table show differences in the rates of renting social housing for householders in routine and manual occupations, the sample sizes for these groups were too small to draw firm conclusions

Households renting social housing by ethnicity and income

Percentage and number of households renting social housing by ethnicity and weekly income

White British All other ethnic groups
Weekly income % Social housing households All households % Social housing households All households
Up to £99 60 110,302 183,039 64 41,296 64,744
£100 to £199 46 740,427 1,623,813 43 136,667 319,019
£200 to £299 32 728,441 2,290,104 41 156,866 382,066
£300 to £399 23 484,822 2,121,559 30 144,997 490,875
£400 to £499 18 320,623 1,793,046 27 108,329 399,204
£500 to £599 14 234,904 1,641,076 22 76,241 343,358
£600 to £699 10 159,142 1,521,753 19 60,762 312,920
£700 to £799 7 86,599 1,234,900 12 30,937 266,681
£800 to £899 6 64,484 1,099,098 11 22,388 209,729
£900 to £999 4 35,884 875,735 10 18,509 188,360
£1000 and above 3 114,161 4,424,028 4 34,930 831,408

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • White British households with weekly incomes of £200 to £699, and £900 to £999, were less likely to rent social housing than ethnic minority households

  • although the chart and table show differences in the rates of renting social housing for households earning less than £199 a week, £700 to £899 a week, and more than £1000 a week, the sample sizes for these groups were too small to draw firm conclusions

Households renting social housing by ethnicity and age group

Percentage and number of households renting social housing by ethnicity and age group

White British All other ethnic groups
Age group % Social housing households All households % Social housing households All households
16 - 24 yrs old 25 136,808 547,604 18 36,730 209,064
25 - 34 yrs old 17 402,620 2,400,150 17 147,555 888,814
35 - 44 yrs old 16 456,426 2,909,500 21 224,017 1,043,931
45 - 54 yrs old 16 602,611 3,746,787 27 213,987 795,069
55 - 64 yrs old 15 497,746 3,240,797 24 101,873 426,164
65 yrs old or over 16 983,576 5,963,859 24 107,760 445,322

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

  • in nearly all age groups, White British households were less likely to rent social housing than ethnic minority households

  • although the chart and table show differences in the rates of renting social housing for those aged under 35 years, the sample sizes for these groups were too small to draw firm conclusions

Households renting social housing by ethnicity and area

Percentage and number of households renting social housing by ethnicity and area

White British All other ethnic groups
Region % Social housing households All households % Social housing households All households
North East 23 246,001 1,082,079 27 16,381 60,660
North West 17 476,902 2,726,087 23 76,662 332,876
Yorkshire and The Humber 18 356,670 1,993,215 20 49,254 251,038
East Midlands 15 262,599 1,716,315 20 43,814 223,700
West Midlands 18 353,855 1,973,387 22 78,641 355,356
East of England 16 340,564 2,179,257 15 49,018 316,271
London 19 332,566 1,721,643 27 433,213 1,615,633
South East 13 425,686 3,196,339 12 56,845 492,775
South West 13 284,944 2,220,374 18 28,093 160,054

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • in London and the North West, White British households were less likely to rent social housing than ethnic minority households

  • although the chart and table show differences in the rates of renting social housing in other regions of England, the sample sizes for these groups were too small to draw firm conclusions

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

Social housing - Spreadsheet (csv) 15 KB

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