Mnemonic: hh_spaces_shared_dwelling
Applicability: Dwelling
Type: Derived variable


Number of household spaces in shared dwellings.


Total number of categories: 3

Code Name
1 Shared dwelling: Two household spaces
2 Shared dwelling: Three or more household spaces
3 Unshared dwelling

*Unshared dwelling and households within them.

Quality information

Improvements to the Census address frame allowed us to accurately list multiple household spaces within the same building. This means the data are more often counted as distinct households within separate dwellings reflecting living arrangements.

Read more in our housing quality information for Census 2021 methodology.


Read about how we developed and tested the questions for Census 2021.

Comparability with the 2011 Census

Broadly comparable

In Census 2021 we made improvements to the address list we used for census collection, which helped better identify household spaces. This means that data are counted as separate dwellings more often than they were in 2011 and is a better reflection of people’s living arrangements compared with the 2011 Census.

For Census 2021, we counted the number of dwellings that did not contain usual residents. As in the 2011 Census, we calculated this from the number of responses identifying that a household space was unoccupied or was solely occupied by short-term residents. However, in 2021, we could also include those dwellings from which we received no response and determined were vacant.

What does broadly comparable mean?

A variable that is broadly comparable means that it can be generally compared with the same variable used in the 2011 Census. However, changes may have been made to the question or options that people could choose from or how write-in answers are classified.

England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland comparisons

Not comparable

This variable is not comparable as the data is not available for all countries.

What does not comparable mean?

A variable that is not comparable means that it cannot be compared for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Find out more about variables produced for Census 2021 in Northern Ireland and Census 2022 in Scotland.

Census 2021 data that uses this variable