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

The main facts and figures show that:

  • in 2015 to 2017, 3.9 million (17%) of the estimated 23 million households in England rented their home from a local authority or housing association ('social housing')
  • households from the Black African and Black Caribbean ethnic groups were most likely to rent social housing out of all ethnic groups, at 47% and 45% respectively; households from the Indian, Chinese and Pakistani ethnic groups were least likely to, at 9%, 9% and 10% respectively
  • across most socio-economic groups, income bands and age groups, White British households were less likely to rent social housing than households from all other ethnic groups combined
  • in London and the North West, White British households were less likely to rent social housing than those from all other ethnic groups combined, and they were more likely to do so in the South East
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.

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

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

Social housing includes property rented from local authorities (including arm’s length management organisations and housing action trusts), housing associations, local housing companies, co-operatives and charitable trusts.

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.

Data is shown for the following 9 regions:

  • North East
  • North West
  • Yorkshire and the Humber
  • East Midlands
  • West Midlands
  • East of England
  • London
  • South East
  • South West
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

For data analysed both by ethnicity and by socio-economic group, income, area and age, the following 2 ethnic categories 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 surveyed becomes too small to be reliable when broken down by both ethnicity and another factor like socio-economic group or income. Data is therefore grouped to a size where estimates become reliable.

Ethnic groups and how data on ethnicity is collected

Households renting social housing by ethnicity

Percentage and number of households (in thousands) renting social housing by ethnicity

Ethnicity % Social housing households ('000s) All households ('000s)
Asian
Bangladeshi 39 52 135
Chinese 9 10 110
Indian 9 47 524
Pakistani 10 37 361
Asian other 17 34 204
Black
Black African 47 190 406
Black Caribbean 45 133 298
Black other 37 11 29
Mixed
Mixed White/Asian 14 8 57
Mixed White/Black African 38 34 90
Mixed White/Black Caribbean 33 31 93
Mixed other 29 14 48
White
White British 16 3,048 18,816
White Irish 26 47 183
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 12 146 1,217
Other
Arab 34 25 74
Any other 23 60 258

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • in 2015 to 2017, 16% of White British households rented their home from a local authority or housing association ('social housing')
  • households with higher rates of renting social housing were from the Black African (47%), Black Caribbean (45%), Bangladeshi (39%), Mixed White and Black African (38%), Other Black (37%), Arab (34%), Mixed White and Black Caribbean (33%), and White Irish (26%) ethnic groups
  • households from the Pakistani, Chinese and Indian ethnic groups had lower rates of renting social housing, at 10%, 9% and 9% respectively

Households renting social housing by ethnicity and socio-economic group

Percentage and number of households (in thousands) renting social housing by ethnicity and socio-economic group

White British Other than White British
Socio-economic group % Social housing households ('000s) All households ('000s) % Social housing households ('000s) All households ('000s)
Higher managerial, administrative and professional occupations 5 373 7,758 10 157 1,531
Intermediate occupations 13 496 3,850 17 134 775
Routine and manual occupations 30 1,840 6,111 32 437 1,383

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • White British households in higher managerial, administrative and professional occupations, and those in intermediate occupations, were less likely to rent social housing than households from all other ethnic groups combined

Households renting social housing by ethnicity and income

Percentage and number of households (in thousands) renting social housing by ethnicity and weekly income

White British Other than White British
Income band % Social housing households ('000s) All households ('000s) % Social housing households ('000s) All households ('000s)
Up to £99 51 100 195 58 30 51
£100 to £199 44 678 1,524 48 147 305
£200 to £299 32 640 2,021 38 163 425
£300 to £399 24 522 2,154 31 151 481
£400 to £499 18 326 1,768 27 103 378
£500 to £599 15 237 1,619 22 86 386
£600 to £699 11 178 1,559 17 60 354
£700 to £799 8 107 1,289 11 31 269
£800 to £899 6 64 1,113 13 33 245
£900 to £999 5 46 891 10 19 186
£1000 and above 3 126 4,562 5 47 975

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • White British households with weekly incomes of £200 to £699, £800 to £899 and £1,000 and above, were less likely to rent social housing than households from all other ethnic groups combined

Households renting social housing by ethnicity and age group

Percentage and number of households (in thousands) renting social housing by ethnicity and age group

White British Other than White British
Age group % Social housing households ('000s) All households ('000s) % Social housing households ('000s) All households ('000s)
16 - 24 27 149 555 21 42 197
25 - 34 17 398 2,359 15 148 976
35 - 44 17 468 2,786 22 255 1,174
45 - 54 16 602 3,724 25 204 829
55 - 64 15 498 3,380 25 110 444
65 or over 16 933 6,012 26 123 472

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • in nearly all age groups, White British households were significantly less likely to rent social housing than households from all other ethnic groups combined

Households renting social housing by ethnicity and area

Percentage and number of households (in thousands) renting social housing by ethnicity and area

White British Other than White British
Region % Social housing households ('000s) All households ('000s) % Social housing households ('000s) All households ('000s)
North East 23 247 1,086 27 17 61
North West 17 476 2,748 23 81 352
Yorkshire and the Humber 17 347 1,986 21 60 283
East Midlands 15 256 1,695 19 48 257
West Midlands 18 355 1,968 20 79 394
East 15 339 2,197 16 54 331
London 18 303 1,706 27 466 1,713
South East 14 437 3,215 10 51 516
South West 13 289 2,215 14 27 187

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 households from all other ethnic groups combined
  • in the South East, White British households were more likely to rent social housing than households from all other ethnic groups combined

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 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 using 2 broad ethnic groups 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

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

English Housing Survey

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 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

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