Renting social housing

Published

1. Main facts and figures

  • in 2016 to 2018, 17% of households (3.9 million) in England lived in social housing (they rented their home from a local authority or housing association)
  • Black African (44%), Mixed White and Black African (41%) and Black Caribbean (40%) households were most likely to rent social housing out of all ethnic groups
  • Indian (7%), Chinese (10%), and White Other (11%) households had lower rates of renting social housing
  • across most income bands, White British households were less likely to rent social housing than households from all other ethnic groups combined
  • in London, White British households were less likely to rent social housing than households from all other ethnic groups combined
Things you need to know

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

The data for this analysis comes from the English Housing Survey (EHS). The EHS surveys a random sample of people to make generalisations about the whole population.

The commentary for this data includes only reliable findings. Findings are reliable when we can be confident they reflect the total population. This means we would get similar findings 19 times out of 20 if we carried out the same survey on different random people.

Every year, 2 years' worth of data is combined and an average is worked out. For example, the data for the most recent period (2017/18) is an average of the data for the years 2017 and 2018. This makes the data more reliable.

You should avoid comparing these findings with those from last year. This is because last year’s findings were based on data from 2015/16 and 2016/17, so the source for last year’s and this year’s findings overlap.

Information published in the headline report and other annual reports is based on a single year rather than 2 years' data. As a result, the figures shown here may not match those in the English Housing Survey reports.

The number of Gypsy or Irish Traveller households surveyed was very small. This page doesn't include estimates for this group, partly to protect respondents’ confidentiality. The number is also too small to make reliable generalisations.

What the data measures

This data measures how likely people in different ethnic groups are to rent social housing.

This is housing from a:

  • local authority (including arm’s length management organisations and housing action trusts)
  • housing association
  • local housing company
  • co-operative
  • charitable trust

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 home. 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 this data, the household's ethnicity is that of the ‘household reference person’ (the person in whose name the home is owned or rented).

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

The ethnic categories used in this data

For national estimates, this data uses the 18 ethnic groups from the 2011 Census.

Analysis by ethnicity and other factors

Estimates are shown for 2 broad ethnic groups where data is broken down by an additional factor (socio-economic group, income, area and age):

  • White British
  • Other than White British – all ethnic minorities (including White minorities)

This is because the number of respondents is too small to make reliable generalisations when broken down by ethnicity and another factor. So data is grouped to a size where estimates are reliable.

2. By ethnicity

Percentage and number of households (in thousands) that rented social housing, by ethnicity
Ethnicity % Social housing households ('000s) All households ('000s)
All 17 3,950 23,160
Asian
Bangladeshi 33 51 152
Chinese 10 11 111
Indian 7 41 550
Pakistani 13 46 358
Asian other 23 44 190
Black
Black African 44 188 431
Black Caribbean 40 123 308
Black other 27 9 32
Mixed
Mixed White/Asian 10 5 52
Mixed White/Black African 41 35 85
Mixed White/Black Caribbean 32 30 93
Mixed other 24 17 73
White
White British 16 3,068 18,863
White Irish 23 49 213
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 11 150 1,307
Other
Arab 32 27 83
Any other 22 55 250

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

Summary of Renting social housing By ethnicity Summary

This data shows that:

  • in 2016 to 2018, 17% of households (3.9 million) in England lived in social housing (they rented their home from a local authority or housing association)
  • 16% of White British households rented social housing
  • only Indian (7%), Chinese (10%), and White Other (11%) households were less likely to rent social housing
  • households with higher rates of renting social housing were from the Black African (44%), Mixed White and Black African (41%) and Black Caribbean (40%) ethnic groups

3. By ethnicity and area

Percentage and number of households (in thousands) that rented social housing by ethnicity and area
White British Other than White British
Region White British % White British Social housing households ('000s) White British All households ('000s) Other than White British % Other than White British Social housing households ('000s) Other than White British All households ('000s)
East 16 342 2,186 14 52 367
East Midlands 15 251 1,688 17 50 289
London 18 303 1,660 27 473 1,778
North East 23 250 1,090 19 13 68
North West 17 479 2,757 21 80 384
South East 14 440 3,244 11 55 522
South West 13 298 2,269 12 21 175
West Midlands 18 360 1,978 19 77 415
Yorkshire and the Humber 17 345 1,992 20 60 299

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

Summary of Renting social housing By ethnicity and area Summary

This data shows that:

  • in London, White British households were less likely to rent social housing than households from all other ethnic groups combined
  • outside London, White British households were as likely to rent social housing as households from all other ethnic groups combined

4. By ethnicity and income

Percentage and number of households (in thousands) that rented social housing, by ethnicity and weekly income
White British Other than White British
Income band White British % White British Social housing households ('000s) White British All households ('000s) Other than White British % Other than White British Social housing households ('000s) Other than White British All households ('000s)
Up to £99 52 93 179 54 22 40
£100 to £199 46 684 1,501 52 161 311
£200 to £299 32 647 2,008 36 153 430
£300 to £399 25 515 2,028 31 140 447
£400 to £499 18 316 1,767 24 88 362
£500 to £599 15 243 1,668 23 98 432
£600 to £699 12 195 1,576 18 66 373
£700 to £799 9 111 1,282 11 31 279
£800 to £899 6 67 1,148 13 37 281
£900 to £999 6 53 936 12 22 190
£1000 and above 3 119 4,636 5 57 1,117

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

Summary of Renting social housing By ethnicity and income Summary

This data shows that:

  • in most income bands, White British households were less likely to rent social housing than those from all other ethnic groups combined
  • the rates of renting social housing were similar for White British households and those from all other ethnic groups combined among households with an income of less than £300 a week, and with an income between £700 and £799 a week

5. By ethnicity and age group

Percentage and number of households (in thousands) that rented social housing, by ethnicity and age group
White British Other than White British
Age group White British % White British Social housing households ('000s) White British All households ('000s) Other than White British % Other than White British Social housing households ('000s) Other than White British All households ('000s)
16 - 24 25 146 580 15 30 202
25 - 34 19 429 2,297 16 160 1,009
35 - 44 17 458 2,773 20 240 1,218
45 - 54 16 598 3,705 22 190 844
55 - 64 15 504 3,373 26 132 499
65 or over 15 931 6,136 25 131 526

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

Summary of Renting social housing By ethnicity and age group Summary

The age group assigned to the household is that of the ‘household reference person’ (the person in whose name the home is owned or rented).

This data shows that:

  • among people aged 16 to 24, White British householders were more likely to rent social housing than those from all other ethnic groups combined
  • among those aged 25 to 44, White British householders were as likely to rent social housing as householders from all other ethnic groups combined
  • for those aged 45 and over, White British householders were less likely to rent social housing than those from all other ethnic groups combined

6. By ethnicity and socio-economic group

Percentage and number of households (in thousands) that rented social housing by ethnicity and socio-economic group
White British Other than White British
Socio-economic group White British % White British Social housing households ('000s) White British All households ('000s) Other than White British % Other than White British Social housing households ('000s) Other than White British All households ('000s)
Higher managerial, administrative and professional occupations 5 378 7,684 10 163 1,629
Intermediate occupations 12 474 3,958 19 150 792
Routine and manual occupations 31 1,837 6,010 29 415 1,427

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

Summary of Renting social housing By ethnicity and socio-economic group Summary

This data shows that:

  • White British households in higher and intermediate occupations were less likely to rent social housing than households from all other ethnic groups combined
  • although a higher percentage of White British households in routine occupations rented social housing than households from all other ethnic groups combined, these figures may not be reliable because of the small number of households surveyed

7. Methodology

Around 13,300 households a year take part in face-to-face interviews for the English Housing Survey.

Of these, around 6,000 households are surveyed by a qualified surveyor. These are chosen at random. Another 200 empty households are surveyed.

Weighting:

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

Weighting adjusts the results of a survey to make them representative of the population and make them more reliable.

For example, a survey of 25 women and 75 men will not accurately reflect the views of the general population, which is around 50% male and 50% female.

Suppression rules and disclosure control

These figures don't include estimates based on fewer than 30 households. This is because it's hard to make reliable generalisations based on a small number of respondents.

Where data is analysed by ethnicity and another factor (like socio-economic group), 2 ethnic groups are shown. This avoids the potential for individuals to be identified.

See the guidance on English Housing Survey datasets for information on accessing other, more detailed, data.

Rounding

Percentages shown in the charts and tables are rounded to the nearest whole number. They were worked out using unrounded figures.

Download the data to see unrounded percentages.

Figures for the numerator and denominator are weighted and rounded to the nearest whole number in the download files. If you use these figures to work out the percentages, they may differ to the percentages shown on this page.

Quality and methodology information

8. 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 headline report and other annual reports is based on a single year rather than 2 years' data. As a result, the figures shown here may not match those in the English Housing Survey reports.

Publication frequency

Yearly

Purpose of data source

The English Housing Survey collects information about:

  • people’s housing circumstances
  • the condition and energy efficiency of housing in England

9. Download the data

Social Housing Spreadsheet - Spreadsheet (csv) 23 KB

This file contains the following: ethnicity, year, geography, age group, NS-SEC (socio-economic group), income, region, value, denominator, numerator and sample size -- Please note, the overall percentage of people owning their own home differs when other variables are included in the analysis. This is because there were different response rates for questions about age, income, regions and socio-economic status (NS-SEC). This has resulted in 4 different percentages, sample sizes etc.