Mnemonic: occupancy_rating_bedrooms
Applicability: Household
Type: Derived variable


Whether a household's accommodation is overcrowded, ideally occupied or under-occupied. This is calculated by comparing the number of bedrooms the household requires to the number of available bedrooms.

The number of bedrooms the household requires is calculated according to the Bedroom Standard, where the following should have their own bedroom:

  1. adult couple
  2. any remaining adult (aged 21 years or over)
  3. two males (aged 10 to 20 years)
  4. one male (aged 10 to 20 years) and one male (aged 9 years or under), if there are an odd number of males aged 10-20
  5. one male aged 10-20 if there are no males aged 0-9 to pair with him.
  6. repeat steps 3-5 for females
  7. two children (aged 9 years or under) regardless of sex
  8. any remaining child (aged 9 years or under)

An occupancy rating of:

  • -1 or less implies that a household’s accommodation has fewer bedrooms than required (overcrowded)
  • +1 or more implies that a household’s accommodation has more bedrooms than required (under-occupied)
  • 0 suggests that a household’s accommodation has an ideal number of bedrooms


Total number of categories: 5

Code Name
1 Occupancy rating of bedrooms: +2 or more
2 Occupancy rating of bedrooms: +1
3 Occupancy rating of bedrooms: 0
4 Occupancy rating of bedrooms: -1 or less
-8 Does not apply*

*Households with no usual residents.

View all occupancy rating for bedrooms classifications.


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

Comparability with the 2011 Census

Highly comparable

What does highly comparable mean?

A variable that is highly comparable means that it can be directly compared with the variable from the 2011 Census. The questions and options that people could choose from may be slightly different, for example the order of the options may be swapped around, but the data collected is the same.

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

We use variables from Census 2021 data to show findings in different ways.

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Alternatively, you can also create a custom dataset.

Other datasets that use this variable