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. From 1951 onwards, more questions were asked about 'amenities', meaning specific facilities that households either possessed or had shared access to.

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. In 2001, the list of key amenities was shorter: central heating, and 'sole use of bath/shower and toilet'. Differences in what information was recorded by each census complicate comparisons over time, and none of our three measures are entirely consistent.

All available maps for the theme Housing

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

Modern (post 1974) County District/Unitary Authority Parish-level Unit Poor Law/Registration County Poor Law Union/Reg. District Scottish Burgh/District Scottish County Scottish Parish Registration sub-District
Percentage of Households with All Amenities 1951 - 2001
1951 - 2001
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Percentage of Households without sole use of a WC 1951 - 2001
1951 - 2001
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 1881 - 1901
1881 - 1901
1881 - 1901
1851 - 1911
1851 - 1911
1851 - 1911
1881 - 1901
Percentage of Households with more than one person per room 1931 - 2001
1931 - 2001
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.

  • 1931: The only available data are in table 11 of the 1931 County Reports, 'Private Families, classified by size of family, rooms occupied, and density of occupation. Administrative county, county boroughs, municipal boroughs, urban and rural districts', and cover persons per room. Here our data are for the number of people living at densities over 1 person per room, not the number of households.
  • 1951: Data on household size are taken from table 12 in the County Reports of the 1951 census, 'Private Households by Density of Occupation (Persons per Room)'. Data on 'amenities' come 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. The five 'arrangements' covered by 'all amenities' were listed above. 'No WC' combines households with no access to a WC and those with only shared access.
  • 1971: The data are computed from the 100% data for households in the 1971 Small Area Statistics, via the 'Linking Censuses through Time' system. 'Overcrowding' is the proportion of households living at a density of over 1 person per room. 'No WC' covers all households without exclusive use of an inside flush toilet. 'All amenities' means exclusive use of hot water, a bath and an inside W.C.
  • 1981: The data are computed from 100% data for households in table 10 in the 1981 Small Area Statistics, via the 'Linking Censuses through Time' system. 'Overcrowding' is the proportion of households living at a density of over 1 person per room. 'No WC' covers all households without exclusive use of an inside flush toilet. 'All amenities' means exclusive use of a bath and an inside W.C.
  • 1991: The data are computed from the 1991 Small Area Statistics, via the 'Linking Censuses through Time' system. 'Overcrowding' is the proportion of households living at a density of over 1 person per room, taken from table S23 'Persons per room: households with residents; residents in households'. Data on amenities come from table S20, 'Tenure and amenities: households with residents; residents in households', and cover households in permanent buildings only (i.e. caravans excluded). 'No WC' covers all households without exclusive use of an inside flush toilet. 'All amenities' means households with exclusive use of a bath/shower and an inside WC, with central heating in all or some rooms. The data have been adjusted to allow for under-enumeration in 1991.
  • 2001: The data are taken from table KS19, 'Rooms, amenities, central heating and lowest floor level: Census 2001, Key Statistics for local Authorities'. 'Overcrowding' is defined as the proportion of households with an occupancy rating of -1 or less. The occupancy rating relates the actual number of rooms to the number of rooms 'required' by the members of the household, based on their relationships and their ages. This is a significantly different measure from all earlier years, and we hope to provide a better comparison once more complete 2001 results are available. However, there is some comparability: a household consisting of a husband and wife, a son and a daughter would require five rooms, as usual excluding corridors and bathrooms (for more detail see the 2001 census glossary, which at the time of writing was held at http://www.statistics.gov.uk/census2001/pdfs/glossary.pdf). 2001 census glossary). 'All amenities' covers households: with both central heating and sole use of bath/shower and toilet. 'No WC' covers households without sole use of bath/shower and toilet, whether or not they had central heating.

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