Housing

Mapping Housing

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The first census to report on how well people were housed was that of 1891, but the only statistics gathered were on the number of rooms and the number of people in each household. Note that in 1931 and 1951 the least crowded category reported on by the Scottish census was "Under 2 persons per room", while from 1971 onwards the most crowded category reported on anywhere was "Over 1.5 persons per room, so it is not possible to present exactly the same measure for all years and areas. From 1951 onwards, more questions were asked about 'amenities', meaning specific facilities that households either possessed or had shared access to, and from 1961 data were gathered on tenure: whether households owned or rented their homes.

One interesting measure of progress is the change in the amenities covered by the census. In 1951, these were piped water, a cooking stove, a kitchen sink, a 'water closet' meaning a flush toilet, and a 'fixed bath', as distinct from a tin bath hung on the wall between uses. By 2011, the only "amenity" recorded was central heating, so direct comparisons over the whole period from 1951 to 2011 are impossible, other than looking at what proportion of all households had "all amenities", i.e. all of whatever amenities were listed for each census. Our density data are counts of persons in households, while our amenity data are counts of households.

All available maps for the theme Housing

Select a particular date to choose a combination of rate, unit type and date.

District/Unitary Authority Government Office Region Administrative County Ancient County Ancient District Local Government District Local Govt. Ward Parish-level Unit Poor Law/Registration County Poor Law Union/Reg. District Registration sub-District Scottish Burgh/District Scottish County Scottish Parish
% of Households with All Amenities 1951 - 2011
1951 - 2011
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
% of Households with Central Heating 1991 - 2011
1991 - 2011
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
% of Households with sole use of a bath or shower 1951 - 1991
1951 - 1991
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
% of Households with sole use of a WC 1951 - 1991
1951 - 1991
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Houses under Construction as Percentage of All Houses N/A N/A N/A 1831 - 1851
1831
N/A N/A 1831 - 1901
1841 - 1901
1841 - 1901
1841 - 1901
1921
1851 - 1921
1851 - 1921
% of Persons in Households with over 1.5 person per room 1911 - 2011
1911 - 2011
1971
N/A N/A 1971
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 1961 - 1971
1961 - 1971
N/A
% of Persons in Households with over 3 person per room 1911 - 1951
1911 - 1951
N/A N/A N/A N/A 1951
N/A N/A N/A N/A 1951
1951
N/A
% Owner-Occupier 1961 - 2011
1961 - 2011
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
% Council Housing 1961 - 2011
1961 - 2011
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

Redistricted data on Housing

These notes concern the historical statistics for modern local authorities, which have been created for Vision of Britain by re-districting statistics originally reported for other units. We have also had to deal with variations in the categories and classifications used in statistical reporting over the years.

  • 1911: The data for England and Wales combine data from Table 2, "Tenements in the occupation of private families--Classified by Numbers of Rooms and by Numbers of Occupants, in each Administrative County and in the Aggregates of Urban Districts (Exclusive of County Boroughs) and of Rural Districts; also in Urban Districts (other than County Boroughs) and in Rural Districts, 1911", and Table 3, "Tenements in the Occupation of Private Families.--Classified by Numbers of Rooms and by Numbers of Occupants, Distinguishing Children under 10 Years of Age, in London and in each Metropolitan Borough, in each County Borough, and in each other urban district of which the Population Exceeded 50,000 Persons at the Census of 1911", in Tenements, England and Wales, Vol. VIII of the 1911 census reports. These tables cross-tabulate numbers of persons and numbers of rooms, unlike the later censuses which provide counts of numbers of persons living in specific density categories, so the latter type of measure has been computed on the assumption that households with 15 persons "or more" have precisely 15 persons, and that households with 10 rooms or more have precisely 10 rooms. However, over 99% of the population covered (all but 303,553 out of 34,590,606) lived in households with less than 10 rooms and 15 persons. The data for Scotland are calculated from Table 27, "Housing Conditions", in the 1911 County Reports, which includes categories for dwellings with 10-14, 15-19 and 20-24 "windowed rooms"; and for households with 15-19 persons. Each of these was assumed to have the number of rooms or of persons in the middle of the stated range, while the categories for households with zero rooms, presumably because the only rooms had no windows, were assumed to have 0.1 room. Any residuals falling outside the listed categories were ignored. These Scottish data were for counties, four cities and 22 major burghs, so they were first allocated to parishes in proportion to total population in 1911, then re-allocated to modern local authorities using a parish-level GIS.
  • 1931: Data on persons per room were taken from table 11, "Private Families, classified by size of family, rooms occupied, and density of occupation", in the County Reports for England and Wales, and table 29, "Population by Number Enumerated per Room", in the County Reports of the 1931 Census of Scotland.
  • 1951: Data on persons per room were taken from table 12 in the County reports of the 1951 census of England and Wales, "Private Households by Density of Occupation (Persons per Room)" for "Administrative County, Municipal Boroughs, Urban and Rural Districts", and from table 21, "Houses: Population by Number Enumerated per Room", in the Scottish County Reports. Data on "amenities" were taken from table 13, "Private Households according to possession of certain household arrangements" for "Administrative County, County Boroughs, and Urban Areas with 50,000 population or more", and table 14, "Private Households according to possession of certain household arrangements" for "Urban Areas with Population of less than 50,000 and Rural Districts", in the County Reports of the 1951 Census of England and Wales; and from table 26, "Household Arrangements", in the County Reports of the 1951 Census of Scotland.
  • 1961: Data on persons per room were taken from table 19, "Population in all Private Households by Density of Occupation (persons per room)", and data on amenities were from table 23, "Private Households by availability of certain Household arrangements", both in the 1961 County Reports for both England and Wales, and Scotland. Data on tenure came mainly from Table 17, "Private Households, Persons and Rooms by Tenure", again in the 1961 County Reports both for England and Wales and for Scotland, with data for towns over 50,000 population in England and Wales, and over 10,000 in Scotland, selectively extracted from Table 16.
  • 1971: Data on persons per room were taken from table 24 "Persons in permanent buildings by density of occupation (persons per room)", in both the England and Wales and the Scottish County Reports. Data on "amenities" and tenure were taken from table 25, "Enumerated households by tenure and household amenities" for "Administrative County, local authority areas, conurbation centres and new towns" in the County Reports of the 1971 Census for England and Wales; and from table 25, "Enumerated households by tenure and household amenities" for either "County of city, city wards" or "County, local authority areas" in the County Reports of the 1971 Census for Scotland.
  • 1981: All data are taken from Table 10, "Tenure and amenities", for private households, in the 1981 Small Area Statistics, and were reported for Frozen Wards. The data were downloaded from the CASWEB online system on 23rd December 2016.
  • 1991: Data on persons per room were taken from Table S23, "Persons per room: Households with residents; residents in households [100%]", in the 1991 Small Area Statistics, as downloaded from the NOMIS online system. Data on "amenities" and tenure were taken from Table S20, "Tenure and amenities: Households with residents [100%]", in the 1991 Small Area Statistics, again from NOMIS.
  • 2001: For England and Wales, data on nunbers of persons per room are taken from Table UV083: "Persons Per Room: All Household Residents" in the Census Area Statistics Univariate Tables, listing numbers of persons living in households at different densities, as downloaded from CASWEB on 25th February 2017. The original data are for CAS Wards in England and CAS Electoral Divisions in Wales. This table is not available for Scotland, so numbers have been estimated starting from the counts of households in Table UV058, "Persons Per Room: All Households", then estimating counts of persons in 2001 by assuming that they had the same relationship to the counts of households in 2001 as the two counts had for the same district in 1991; then adjusting the resulting estimates of density categories so they summed to the actual total number of persons in 2001 for the district, this being reported in Table KS019. Data on tenure came from Table KS018, "Tenure: All households", and amenities from Table KS019, "Rooms, amenities, central heating and lowest floor level: All households", both in the 2001 Key Statistics release.
  • 2011: Data on persons per room were taken from table QS410EW and table QS410SC, "Persons per room - People" in the 2011 Quick Statistics release. Similarly, data on central heating were taken from the "Central Heating" table in the Quick Statistics, Table QS415EW for England and Wales, and Table QS415S for Scotland. Data on tenure comes Table KS402EW for England and Wales, and KS402SC for Scotland.

These selections from historical census reports are on the theme of Housing.

CensusArea CoveredReport TitleSection Title
Intro Great Britain Guide to Census Reports: Great Britain 1801-1966 Selected Subjects: Housing
1891 England and Wales General Report Habitations
1901 England and Wales General Report, with Appendices Habitations
1911 England and Wales General Report with Appendices Tenements
1911 England and Wales General Report with Appendices Buildings of Various Kinds
1911 Scotland Population, Ages and Conjugal Condition, Occupations, Birthplaces, Housing, Gaelic-speaking Housing Conditions
1921 England and Wales General Report with Appendices Buildings, Dwellings, Rooms and Families