Household projections for England – household type projections: 2016-based

Indication of the future number of households in England and its regions and local authorities.

This is the latest release. View previous releases

4 December 2018

Figures quoted within the main points and some accompanying text of this statistical bulletin were originally published to the nearest whole number. These have now been rounded to the nearest thousand, in line with best practice and to reflect the uncertainty around projected figures.

This is an accredited national statistic.

Contact:
Email Joanna Harkrader

Release date:
3 December 2018

Next release:
To be announced

1. Main points

  • The number of one-person households in England is projected to increase by 26% between 2016 and 2041, driven by increases in the number of people aged 65 years and over living on their own.

  • The number of people aged 90 years and over living on their own is projected to more than double, from 241,000 in 2016 to 588,000 in 2041.

  • The number of households with dependent children is projected to remain broadly similar between 2016 and 2041, with around a quarter of households having dependent children by 2041.

  • Almost all the projected increase in households by 2041 will be among one-person and multiple adult households without dependent children.

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2. Statistician’s comment

"Today’s figures show that the number of people in England living on their own is projected to increase by over a quarter over the next 25 years, driven mostly by increases in the number of older people living alone. In contrast, the number of households with dependent children is projected to remain broadly similar. These figures reflect the potential impact of an ageing population and lower numbers of children being born on future living arrangements.”

Joanna Harkrader, Centre for Ageing and Demography, Office for National Statistics.

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3. Things you need to know about this release

This is the second stage of the 2016-based household projections for England and follows on from the Stage 1 release on 20 September 2018. Stage 1 provides household projections by five-year age band of the household reference person (HRP)1 and sex, from 2001 to 2041, by local authority, region and for England as a whole. This release additionally provides a household type breakdown of households by five-year quinary age band of the HRP, for the same geographical areas.

Household projections show the number of households there would be in England if a set of assumptions based on previous demographic trends in population – births, deaths and migration – and household formation were to be realised in practice.

Household projections are not forecasts. They do not attempt to predict the impact of future government or local policies, changing economic circumstances or other factors that may influence household growth, such as the number of houses built. Household projections are not a prediction or forecast of how many houses should be built in the future. Instead, they show how many additional households would form if the population of England keeps growing as it did between 2011 and 2016 and keeps forming households as it did between 2001 and 2011. Therefore, household projections should be considered a starting point for calculating the future housing needs of a local area, rather than a prediction of how many houses should be built in the future.

The methodology for the 2016-based household projections takes the previous 2014-based methodology as its starting point, with modifications being made to reflect changes in data availability over time and changing assumptions about household formation and population change. For more information about this and other methodological changes, please refer to the methodology document.

The 2016-based household projections for England are the first set published by Office for National Statistics (ONS) – they used to be published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG). The 2016-based household projections for England have not yet been formally reviewed for compliance with the Code of Practice for Statistics since their transfer from MHCLG to ONS. The Office for Statistics Regulation will conduct this review in the near future.

Variant household projections are not being published as part of this release. This is so that further research can be carried out to analyse the most effective methods for implementing the variants that have been suggested by users. In addition, we are currently researching the viability of producing variant subnational population projections, so postponing the publication of variant household projections enables these analyses to be carried out alongside one another. We will provide an update about our plans for variant household projections in due course.

Notes for: Things you need to know about this release

  1. The household reference person (HRP), or head of household, is the eldest economically active person in the household.
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4. One-person households are projected to increase by 26% by 2041, driven by increases at older ages

Most of the growth in one-person households is projected to take place among households headed by older people. By 2041, there will be more people living alone who are aged 65 years and over than who are less than 65 years old (Figure 1).

The fastest growth in one-person households is projected to take place at the very oldest ages, particularly for men. The number of households with someone aged 90 years and over living alone is projected to more than double from 241,000 to 588,000 between 2016 and 2041 (Figure 2), with the proportion that are headed by men increasing from one in four, to one in three.

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5. Just under a quarter of households will have dependent children by 2041

In 2016, of all households, 28.2% had dependent children. This is projected to drop to 24.7% by 2041 (Figure 3). Among households with dependent children, around half have just one dependent child, and the proportion with more than one dependent child is projected to decrease from 53.7% to 52.4% between 2016 and 2041.

Almost all the growth in households between 2016 and 2041 will come from one-person and multiple adult households. The number of households with dependent children will only increase by around 170,000, while one-person households and households with two or more adults will each increase by almost 2 million (Figure 4).

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6. The number of households is projected to increase because of increases in older households without children

At younger ages of head of household, up until around age 50 years old, there is little growth between 2016 and 2041 in the number of each type of household, with some decreases, particularly for households with more than one dependent child, and for households with two or more adults. Older ages are characterised by large increases in the number of households without dependent children and from the age of 70 years onwards there are increases for every household type (Figure 5).

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7. Regional comparisons

In the North East, the number of households with two dependent children is projected to decrease by 18%, from over 120,000 in 2016 to fewer than 100,000 in 2041.

London is projected to have the fastest increase in all household types, apart from one-person households, which will increase by 30% from 1.1 million to 1.4 million. Compared with other regions, increases in households with dependent children will be particularly high in London, where households with one dependent child will increase by 13%, from 494,000 in 2016 to 556,000 in 2041. Households with two and three or more dependent children will both increase by over 5%, compared with declines in some other regions (Figure 6).

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8. Comparisons with 2014-based household projections

Figure 7 shows that the overall distribution of households by household type in England in 2039 remains broadly similar between the 2014-based and 2016-based household projections. The largest changes in the distribution for England in 2039 are for one-person female households, which accounted for 14% of households in the 2014-based household projections, compared with 17% in the 2016-based household projections. In contrast, the proportion of households with one dependent child decreased slightly, from 14% of households in the 2014-based household projections to 12% in the 2016-based household projections.

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9. Quality and methodology

We have published a methodology report to provide information on how the household projections were produced. This has been updated to include information about both stages of the household projections. In September 2018, we also published an article assessing the accuracy of the household projections, through comparisons with the household estimates and other data sources.

The household projections Quality and Methodology Information report contains important information on:

  • the strengths and limitations of the data and how it compares with related data

  • uses and users of the data

  • how the output was created

  • the quality of the output including the accuracy of the data

This report will be updated to include information relating to household type breakdowns in due course.

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Contact details for this Statistical bulletin

Joanna Harkrader
pop.info@ons.gov.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)1329 444661