New evidence has emerged about how overcrowded Britains homes have become. Statistics from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed that the number of people living in households with six or more occupants has surged by a quarter in the last decade.
Three million people now live in a household with at least five other individuals and this type of living has become the fastest growing category of housing. Keep reading to find out more.
Over half a million households with six or more residents
An analysis of Census data from England and Wales shows that there were 543,000 households with at least six residents, making it the fastest-growing category of housing with a 25 per cent jump in 10 years.
The ONS said the surge was thought to be down to ‘economic or cultural factors’. More young people are living with parents because they cannot afford to buy a home while an increased number of older couples live with their adult children.
The data also includes unrelated people living under the same roof, which is widely seen among immigrant workers in more expensive areas of the country such as London. In the borough of Newham more than one in 10 households fell into the ‘six or more persons’ category.
Outside the capital, Luton, Slough, Bradford, Birmingham and Leicester were the areas with the highest proportion of ‘six or more’.
The ONS report said: “All of these areas have been identified as having high proportions of concealed families [such as inter-generational families], high levels of overcrowding and also have high proportions of the population identifying with Indian, Pakistani or Bangladeshi ethnic groups.”
Owner occupied property in decline
The ONS data also revealed that the number of owner occupied households has declined as rented accommodation grows more popular. This reflects the difficulty young people have experienced in getting into the property ladder.
The owner-occupier category fell from 69 per cent to 64 per cent across England and Wales over the decade, while privately rented accommodation grew from 12 per cent to 18 per cent, with the remainder in social housing.
Dan Wilson Craw, spokesman for campaign group Generation Rent, said: “Todays statistics confirm that our broken housing market is creating deep divisions in society wealthy property owners can afford to leave houses to stand empty, while more people who cant buy are forced to squeeze into overcrowded private renting.”