Families and households

Published

Last updated 28 August 2020 - see all updates

1. Main facts and figures

  • at the time of the 2011 Census, 47.0% of Asian households were made up of married couples or civil partners (with or without dependent children), the highest percentage out of all ethnic groups for this type of household
  • households headed by someone with Mixed ethnicity were the least likely out of all ethnic groups to be made up of married couples or civil partners (at 19.9%), but most likely to be made up of a cohabiting couple (at 11.2%)
  • 18.9% of Black households were made up of a single parent with dependent children, the highest percentage out of all ethnic groups for this type of household; the lowest percentage was found among Asian households, at 5.7%
  • 22.6% of White households were made up of one or more pensioners, the highest percentage out of all ethnic groups for this type of household, and more than three times the percentage of any other ethnic group; the lowest percentage was found among households headed by someone from the Other ethnic group, at 4.5%

2. Things you need to know

What the data measures

This data shows the types of families and other groups living in households in England and Wales, by ethnicity.

Households are also grouped according to whether they have any dependent children. Dependent children are under 15 years old, or 16 to 18 years old and in full-time education.

A household is either one person or a group of people sharing cooking facilities and a living room or dining area.

Census data covers people in around 25 million private households.

Percentages are rounded to 1 decimal place.

Read more about the 2011 Census.

Not included in the data

The data does not include households that did not answer the Census question about ethnicity.

94% of households completed the Census. Of those, 97% answered the question about ethnicity.

The data has been adjusted to take into account people and households who were not counted or counted incorrectly.

The ethnic groups used in the data

This data uses the standardised list of 18 ethnic groups that were developed for the 2011 Census.

In some places to make sure estimates are reliable, data is shown for the following 5 aggregated ethnic groups:

  • Asian
  • Black
  • Mixed
  • White
  • Other

Each household’s ethnic group is the ethnicity of the ‘household reference person’. This is usually the most economically active person, for example someone in full-time employment. If 2 tenants have the same employment status, the household reference person is the oldest person.

Methodology

Read the detailed methodology document, PDF, 182KB, 14 pages for this data.

Because each household’s ethnic group is based on the ‘household reference person’, the data does not reflect the actual ethnic composition of households with people from different ethnic backgrounds. However, because around 9% of relationships involve people from different ethnic groups, the analysis shown here is reliable.

3. Household types by ethnicity

Percentage of each household type made up of the 5 broad ethnic groups
Household type Asian Black Mixed White Other
% % % % %
Single pensioner 1.2 1.4 0.4 96.7 0.2
Single non-pensioner 4.2 4.6 2.2 87.6 1.4
Pensioner couple 1.3 0.6 0.3 97.7 0.2
Married, no children 3.8 1.0 0.6 94.1 0.5
Married, Dependent children 10.8 3.1 1.0 83.6 1.5
Married, non-dependent children 6.4 1.4 0.5 91.0 0.6
Cohab, no children 1.8 1.4 1.4 94.9 0.4
Cohab, Dependent children 1.9 3.1 1.6 92.9 0.5
Cohab, non-dependent children 1.7 2.3 1.0 94.6 0.3
Lone parent, Dependent children 4.2 8.3 2.9 83.7 0.9
Lone parent, non-dependent children 4.7 4.9 1.1 88.7 0.7
Other, with dependent children 21.2 8.1 1.9 67.0 1.8
All full-time students 20.6 5.5 3.3 67.2 3.5
Other, All pensioners 1.7 1.5 0.7 95.8 0.3
Any other household type 10.4 4.4 2.1 81.7 1.4

Download table data for ‘Household types by ethnicity’ (CSV) Source data for ‘Household types by ethnicity’ (CSV)

Summary of Families and households Household types by ethnicity Summary

This data shows that:

  • at the time of the 2011 Census, the White ethnic group made up 97.7% of households with a pensioner couple – by comparison, the same ethnic group made up 86.0% of the general population of England and Wales
  • Asian households made up 21.2% of other households (for example, those with a multi-generational family) with dependent children, 20.6% of all-student households, and 10.8% of those with a married couple with dependent children – by comparison, the Asian ethnic group made up 7.5% of the general population
  • the Black ethnic group made up 8.3% of single parent households with dependent children, and 8.1% of other households (for example, multi-generational households) with dependent children (compared with 3.3% of the general population)

4. Ethnic groups by household type

Percentage of household types within each ethnic group
Ethnicity Cohabiting couple Lone parent Married or same-sex civil partnership couple One person household Other household types Pensioner couple
% % % % % %
Asian 3.5 8.8 47.0 17.0 21.7 2.1
Black 6.8 24.3 21.6 31.7 14.1 1.5
Mixed 11.2 19.1 19.9 35.2 12.9 1.7
White 10.3 10.2 32.9 30.9 6.8 8.9
Other 5.2 10.5 37.0 30.7 15.0 1.4

Download table data for ‘Ethnic groups by household type’ (CSV) Source data for ‘Ethnic groups by household type’ (CSV)

Summary of Families and households Ethnic groups by household type Summary

This data shows that:

  • at the time of the 2011 Census, 32.9% of White households were made up of married couples or civil partners, 30.9% were one-person households, 10.3% were cohabiting couples, 10.2% were single parent families, and 8.9% were pensioner couples
  • nearly half (47.0%) of Asian households were made up of married couples or civil partners, and a further 17.0% were one-person households
  • 31.7% of Black households were made up of one person, 24.3% were single parent families, and 21.6% were married couples or civil partners
  • just over one-third of households headed by someone with Mixed ethnicity (35.2%) were made up of one person, and 19.9% were married couples or civil partners (the lowest percentage for this household type, out of all ethnic groups); a further 19.1% were single parent families

5. Households with dependent children by ethnicity

Percentage of households with dependent children by ethnicity
Ethnicity %
Asian 8.9
Bangladeshi 1.1
Chinese 0.6
Indian 2.9
Pakistani 2.6
Asian other 1.8
Black 4.8
Black African 2.7
Black Caribbean 1.5
Black other 0.6
Mixed 1.6
Mixed White/Asian 0.4
Mixed White/Black African 0.2
Mixed White/Black Caribbean 0.7
Mixed other 0.4
White 83.5
White British 77.6
White Irish 0.8
White Gypsy or Irish Traveller 0.1
White other 4.9
Other 1.2
Arab 0.5
Any other 0.7

Download table data for ‘Households with dependent children by ethnicity’ (CSV) Source data for ‘Households with dependent children by ethnicity’ (CSV)

Summary of Families and households Households with dependent children by ethnicity Summary

This data shows that:

  • at the time of the 2011 Census, White households made up 83.5% of those with dependent children – by comparison, the same ethnic group made up 86.0% of the general population of England and Wales
  • Asian households made up 8.9% of those with dependent children, and 7.5% of the general population
  • Black households made up 4.8% of those with dependent children, and 3.3% of the general population
  • households headed by someone from the Mixed and Other ethnic groups made up 1.6% and 1.2% respectively of those with dependent children (and 2.2% and 1.0% of the general population respectively)

6. Asian ethnic group by household type

Asian ethnic group: household composition
Household type Asian Indian Pakistani Bangladeshi Chinese Asian other
% % % % % %
All full-time students 2.2 1.5 1.1 1.3 7.5 2.2
Any other household type 8.8 9.4 7.0 6.6 10.5 9.7
Cohab, Dependent children 1.5 1.0 1.5 1.6 2.0 1.8
Cohab, no children 1.8 1.5 0.8 0.8 4.7 2.4
Cohab, non-dependent children 0.2 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.2 0.2
Lone parent, Dependent children 5.7 3.8 8.3 8.4 4.5 5.7
Lone parent, non-dependent children 3.1 3.5 3.1 3.2 2.7 2.7
Married, Dependent children 31.3 29.5 38.7 42.7 17.4 29.1
Married, no children 8.8 11.2 5.8 4.1 10.5 9.1
Married, non-dependent children 6.9 9.9 5.4 4.0 5.5 5.1
Other, All pensioners 0.1 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.1 0.1
Other, with dependent children 10.5 9.1 15.3 16.2 4.2 9.2
Pensioner couple 2.1 3.3 1.2 0.6 1.9 1.6
Single non-pensioner 14.1 12.2 9.7 9.1 25.0 18.2
Single pensioner 2.9 3.8 1.9 1.3 3.4 2.8

Download table data for ‘Asian ethnic group by household type’ (CSV) Source data for ‘Asian ethnic group by household type’ (CSV)

Summary of Families and households Asian ethnic group by household type Summary

This data shows that:

  • at the time of the 2011 Census, overall, just over half of Asian households (52.6%) were made up of couples who were married, civil partners or cohabiting (with or without dependent children), 17.0% were made up of one person, 10.5% were other households (for example, multi-generation families) with dependent children, and 8.8% were single parents (with or without dependent children)
  • among one-person households, 10.4% were headed by someone from the Bangladeshi ethnic group (the lowest percentage among Asian households), compared with 28.4% headed by someone from the Chinese ethnic group (the highest percentage)
  • over half of households headed by someone from the Bangladeshi and Indian ethnic groups were married households (either with or without dependent children), at 50.8% and 50.6% respectively; those headed by someone from the Chinese ethnic group were least likely out of all Asian groups to be married households, at 33.4%
  • households headed by someone from the Bangladeshi and Pakistani ethnic groups were most likely to be single parent households (either with or without dependent children) out of all Asian groups, at 11.6% and 11.4% respectively

7. Black ethnic group by household type

Black ethnic group: household composition
Household type Black Black African Black Caribbean Black other
% % % %
All full-time students 1.0 1.7 0.4 0.5
Any other household type 6.2 7.5 4.5 6.5
Cohab, Dependent children 4.0 4.1 4.0 3.8
Cohab, no children 2.4 2.1 2.5 2.9
Cohab, non-dependent children 0.4 0.2 0.6 0.4
Lone parent, Dependent children 18.9 20.2 16.6 21.2
Lone parent, non-dependent children 5.4 3.6 7.7 4.8
Married, Dependent children 15.0 20.3 9.6 12.0
Married, no children 4.1 4.1 4.2 3.3
Married, non-dependent children 2.5 1.8 3.7 1.7
Other, All pensioners 0.1 0.0 0.3 0.1
Other, with dependent children 6.8 8.6 4.7 6.3
Pensioner couple 1.5 0.3 3.1 0.8
Single non-pensioner 26.2 23.4 27.7 32.2
Single pensioner 5.5 2.0 10.4 3.5

Download table data for ‘Black ethnic group by household type’ (CSV) Source data for ‘Black ethnic group by household type’ (CSV)

Summary of Families and households Black ethnic group by household type Summary

This data shows that:

  • at the time of the 2011 Census, overall, just under one-third (31.7%) of Black households were made up of one person, 29.9% were made up of couples who were married, in a civil partnership or cohabiting (with or without dependent children), and 18.9% were single parent households with dependent children
  • 3.1% of Black Caribbean households were made up of couples aged 65 years and over (the highest percentage among Black households), compared with 0.3% of Black African households (the lowest percentage)
  • 38.1% of Black Caribbean households were made up of one person (the highest percentage among Black households), compared with 25.4% of Black African households (the lowest percentage)
  • Black African households were most likely out of all Black households to be made up of married couples or civil partners (with or without dependent children), at 26.2%, while Black Caribbean households were least likely to be, at 17.5%

8. Mixed ethnic group by household type

Mixed ethnic group: household composition
Household type Mixed Mixed White/Black Caribbean Mixed White/Black African Mixed White/Asian Mixed other
% % % % %
All full-time students 1.4 0.9 1.5 2.1 1.5
Any other household type 7.3 5.1 7.5 8.5 9.3
Cohab, Dependent children 5.0 6.1 5.0 4.3 4.0
Cohab, no children 5.9 4.9 5.0 7.0 6.6
Cohab, non-dependent children 0.4 0.5 0.3 0.3 0.3
Lone parent, Dependent children 16.2 22.7 17.4 9.6 12.7
Lone parent, non-dependent children 2.9 3.2 3.2 2.2 2.9
Married, Dependent children 12.0 8.0 13.2 15.8 13.5
Married, no children 5.8 3.9 4.8 7.7 7.3
Married, non-dependent children 2.1 1.9 1.7 2.5 2.3
Other, All pensioners 0.2 0.2 0.1 0.2 0.2
Other, with dependent children 3.9 3.9 5.3 3.2 4.0
Pensioner couple 1.7 1.6 0.8 2.2 1.7
Single non-pensioner 31.0 32.7 31.3 30.2 29.0
Single pensioner 4.3 4.6 2.8 4.2 4.7

Download table data for ‘Mixed ethnic group by household type’ (CSV) Source data for ‘Mixed ethnic group by household type’ (CSV)

Summary of Families and households Mixed ethnic group by household type Summary

This data shows that:

  • at the time of the 2011 Census, overall, over one-third (35.3%) of households headed by someone with Mixed ethnicity were made up of one person, 32.9% were made up of couples who were married, in a civil partnership or cohabiting (with or without dependent children), and 19.1% were made up of a single parent (with or without dependent children)
  • 26.0% of Mixed White and Asian households were made up of married couples or civil partners (with or without dependent children), compared with 13.8% of Mixed White and Black Caribbean households
  • 22.7% of Mixed White and Black Caribbean households were made up of single parents with dependent children (the highest percentage out of all Mixed ethnicity households), compared with 9.6% of Mixed White and Asian households (the lowest percentage)

9. White ethnic group by household type

White ethnic group: household composition
Household type White White British White Irish White Gypsy/Traveller White other
% % % % %
All full-time students 0.4 0.4 0.5 0.5 1.2
Any other household type 4.1 3.6 5.5 4.6 13.5
Cohab, Dependent children 4.2 4.3 2.2 6.3 4.1
Cohab, no children 5.6 5.5 4.8 3.2 8.1
Cohab, non-dependent children 0.5 0.5 0.4 0.6 0.2
Lone parent, Dependent children 6.7 6.7 4.2 20.4 6.1
Lone parent, non-dependent children 3.5 3.5 5.3 4.1 2.1
Married, Dependent children 14.2 14.1 10.4 12.6 18.9
Married, no children 13.0 13.2 9.9 6.8 10.3
Married, non-dependent children 5.7 5.9 5.7 3.6 2.8
Other, All pensioners 0.3 0.3 0.5 0.2 0.1
Other, with dependent children 2.0 1.8 1.4 5.6 5.2
Pensioner couple 8.9 9.2 9.3 2.0 2.6
Single non-pensioner 17.5 17.3 20.3 23.3 19.9
Single pensioner 13.4 13.8 19.4 6.1 4.9

Download table data for ‘White ethnic group by household type’ (CSV) Source data for ‘White ethnic group by household type’ (CSV)

Summary of Families and households White ethnic group by household type Summary

This data shows that:

  • at the time of the 2011 Census, overall, 52.1% of White households were made up of couples who were married, civil partners or cohabiting (with or without dependent children), 30.9% were made up of one person, and 10.2% were single parents (with or without dependent children)
  • 19.4% of White Irish households were made up of a single person aged 65 years or older (the highest percentage out of all White households), compared with 4.9% of Other White households (the lowest percentage)
  • Gypsy/Roma households were the most likely out of all White households to be made up of a single person aged under 65 years, at 23.3%
  • 42.4% of White British households were made up of married couples (including pensioner couples) or civil partners (with or without children), the highest percentage out of all White households; the lowest percentage was found in Gypsy/Roma households, at 23.0%
  • over 1 in 5 Gypsy/Roma households (20.4%) were made up of a single parent with dependent children, compared with 4.2% of Irish households

10. Other ethnic group by household type

Other ethnic group: household composition
Household type Other Arab Any other
% % %
All full-time students 2.3 4.0 1.2
Any other household type 7.3 5.7 8.4
Cohab, Dependent children 2.4 1.9 2.7
Cohab, no children 2.7 2.0 3.1
Cohab, non-dependent children 0.2 0.1 0.2
Lone parent, Dependent children 7.8 7.4 8.0
Lone parent, non-dependent children 2.8 2.3 3.1
Married, Dependent children 25.5 29.9 22.7
Married, no children 7.3 6.7 7.7
Married, non-dependent children 4.2 3.1 5.0
Other, All pensioners 0.1 0.1 0.1
Other, with dependent children 5.4 4.6 5.9
Pensioner couple 1.4 1.1 1.7
Single non-pensioner 27.7 29.1 26.8
Single pensioner 3.0 2.2 3.5

Download table data for ‘Other ethnic group by household type’ (CSV) Source data for ‘Other ethnic group by household type’ (CSV)

Summary of Families and households Other ethnic group by household type Summary

This data shows that:

  • at the time of the 2011 Census, overall, 43.7% of households headed by someone from the Other ethnic group were made up of couples who were married, civil partners or cohabiting (with or without dependent children), 30.7% were made up of one person, and 10.6% were single parents (with or without dependent children)
  • around 3 in 10 Arab households (29.9%) were made up of a married couple with dependent children, compared to 22.7% of those headed by someone identifying as Any other ethnic group

11. Data sources

Source

Type of data

Survey data

Type of statistic

National Statistics

Publisher

Office for National Statistics

Publication frequency

Every 10 years

Purpose of data source

The Census is carried out every 10 years. The last one took place in March 2011.

Census data gives the government the information it needs to plan and run public services. It is also used as a benchmark for other statistical estimates, and it can help illustrate differences between various groups in the population.

12. Download the data

Families and households - Spreadsheet (csv) 104 KB

This file contains the following: Measure, Ethnic group, Year, Household type, Value, value_label, Source, Geography