Important information:
Correction to this dataset. View the reason for update.

Living arrangements


This dataset provides Census 2021 estimates that classify usual residents aged 16 years and over in households in England and Wales by their living arrangements. The estimates are as at Census Day, 21 March 2021.

Variable and dataset information

Area type

Census 2021 statistics are published for a number of different geographies. These can be large, for example the whole of England, or small, for example an output area (OA), the lowest level of geography for which statistics are produced.

For higher levels of geography, more detailed statistics can be produced. When a lower level of geography is used, such as output areas (which have a minimum of 100 persons), the statistics produced have less detail. This is to protect the confidentiality of people and ensure that individuals or their characteristics cannot be identified.

Lower tier local authorities

Lower tier local authorities provide a range of local services. There are 309 lower tier local authorities in England made up of 181 non-metropolitan districts, 59 unitary authorities, 36 metropolitan districts and 33 London boroughs (including City of London). In Wales there are 22 local authorities made up of 22 unitary authorities.


Census 2021 statistics are published for the whole of England and Wales. However, you can choose to filter areas by:

  • country - for example, Wales
  • region - for example, London
  • local authority - for example, Cornwall
  • health area – for example, Clinical Commissioning Group
  • statistical area - for example, MSOA or LSOA

Living arrangements

The “living arrangements” classification combines responses to the question on marital and civil partnership status with information about whether or not a person is living in a couple. This topic is only applicable to people in households. Living arrangements differs from marital and civil partnership status because cohabiting takes priority over other categories. For example, if a person is divorced and cohabiting, then in results for living arrangements they are classified as cohabiting.


Population type
All usual residents in households
Area type
Lower tier local authorities
England and Wales
Living arrangements
11 Categories
  • Living in an opposite-sex couple: Married or in a civil partnership
  • Living in a same-sex couple: Married or in a civil partnership
  • Living in a couple: Separated, but still married or in a civil partnership
  • Living in an opposite-sex couple: Cohabiting
  • Living in a same-sex couple: Cohabiting
  • Not living in a couple: Single (never married and never registered a civil partnership)
  • Not living in a couple: Divorced or formerly in a civil partnership which is now legally dissolved
  • Not living in a couple: Widowed or surviving partner from a civil partnership
  • Does not apply
Show all 11 categories

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Protecting personal data

Sometimes we need to make changes to data if it is possible to identify individuals. This is known as statistical disclosure control.

In Census 2021, we:

  • swapped records (targeted record swapping), for example, if a household was likely to be identified in datasets because it has unusual characteristics, we swapped the record with a similar one from a nearby small area (very unusual households could be swapped with one in a nearby local authority)
  • added small changes to some counts (cell key perturbation), for example, we might change a count of four to a three or a five – this might make small differences between tables depending on how the data are broken down when we applied perturbation

Read more in Section 5 of our article Design for Census 2021.

Version history

Release date Reason for update
We have corrected an error in category 6 of the Living Arrangements classification used in table TS010. The previous category label read "Not living in a couple: Single (never married and never registered a same-sex civil partnership)". It should have read "Not living in a couple: Single (never married and never registered a civil partnership)". This happened because of human error.
Version superseded
Version superseded
Version superseded
Original release

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