Household composition

Important information:

There are quality considerations around consistency of census data on household and family composition and legal partnership status, and changes in the definition of "other household types" since 2011.

Read more about this quality notice.


This dataset provides Census 2021 estimates that classify households in England and Wales by the relationships between household members (household composition). 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

Household composition

Households according to the relationships between members.

One-family households are classified by:

* the number of dependent children

* family type (married, civil partnership or cohabiting couple family, or lone parent family)

Other households are classified by:

* the number of people

* the number of dependent children

* whether the household consists only of students or only of people aged 66 and over


Population type
All households
Area type
Lower tier local authorities
England and Wales
Household composition
15 Categories
  • One-person household: Aged 66 years and over
  • One-person household: Other
  • Single family household: All aged 66 years and over
  • Single family household: Married or civil partnership couple: All children non-dependent
  • Single family household: Cohabiting couple family: No children
  • Single family household: Cohabiting couple family: With dependent children
  • Other household types: With dependent children
  • Other household types: Other, including all full-time students and all aged 66 years and over
  • Does not apply
Show all 15 categories

Get the data

Download the data in the following formats

Contact us

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

Dyddiad y datganiad Reason for update
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