The number of households in Scotland continues to rise
The number of households in Scotland continues to increase despite a slowdown in the rate of growth since 2007. These increases are projected to continue over the coming 25 years.
Commenting following the release of ‘Estimates of Households and Dwellings in Scotland, 2011’ and ‘Household Projections for Scotland, 2010-based,’ the Registrar General, George MacKenzie, said:
“The number of households in Scotland has been increasing in each year since 2001. This is partly due to increases in population but is mainly a result of changes in household structure. More people are living alone and in smaller households. The rate of growth has slowed since 2007 and the increase between 2010 and 2011 was the lowest in the past ten years. The economic downturn has led to reductions in new house building and constrained mortgage and labour markets, and this is likely to be affecting new household formation.
“Over the next 25 years, the number of households in Scotland is projected to increase by more than a fifth to 2.89 million in 2035. Over the same period the changes in household structure are projected to continue, with average household size falling from 2.17 people in 2010 to 1.95 people in 2035. There are large increases projected in older households, with the number of households headed by people aged 65 or over projected to increase by almost 60 per cent by 2035.”
The reports’ main findings are:
Number of households
- The number of households in Scotland has increased every year for the last ten years. In mid-2011 there were 2.37 million households in Scotland
- The rate of increase in household numbers has slowed substantially since 2007. Between 2010 and 2011 the number of households increased by 10,600, a rise of 0.5 per cent. This is the lowest yearly increase in the last ten years.
- The number of households in Scotland is projected to increase from 2.36 million households in 2010 to 2.89 million households in 2035, an increase of 23 per cent.
Local authority figures
- The number of households has increased over the last year in every local authority except Clackmannanshire (a fall of five households), Inverclyde (a fall of 70 households) and West Dunbartonshire (a fall of 20 households).
- Over the last ten years, there has been an increase in the number of households in all areas apart from Inverclyde (where it fell by 0.7 per cent, 267 households).
- The area with the greatest increase since 2001 in percentage terms has been Aberdeenshire (an increase of 15.2 per cent, 13,800 households), though Edinburgh City has seen the largest absolute increase (17,000 households, an increase of 8.3 per cent).
- Household numbers are projected to continue to increase up to 2035 in all local authorities apart from Inverclyde (where a decrease of six per cent between 2010 and 2035 is projected).
- The largest increases in household numbers are projected for City of Edinburgh and Perth and Kinross (increases of 43 per cent each). East Lothian and Aberdeen City also see large projected increases (39 per cent each) and Aberdeenshire, Stirling and West Lothian have projected increases of 30 per cent or over.
- Household structure in Scotland is changing with more people living alone and in smaller households.
- Thirty eight per cent of dwellings in Scotland are entitled to a ‘single-adult’ Council Tax discount because there is one adult living there (either alone, with children or with other adults who are disregarded for Council Tax purposes). There is a higher proportion of such dwellings in urban areas (42 per cent in large urban areas compared to 29 per cent in rural areas) and in deprived areas (52 per cent in the most deprived areas compared to 28 per cent in the least deprived areas).
- Between 2010 and 2035 there is a large projected increase in households containing just one adult, from 863,000 in 2010 to over 1.29 million in 2035 (an increase of 49 per cent). There are also projected increases in other smaller households. The number of households containing just two adults is projected to rise by 23 per cent, to 884,000 households, and the number of households containing one adult with children also rises, by 51 per cent, to 249,000 households in 2035.
- In contrast, the number of larger households is projected to fall, with households containing two or more adults with children decreasing by 23 per cent and households containing three or more adults, without children, decreasing by 25 per cent by 2035 (to 324,000 and 143,000 households, respectively).
- There are projected increases in the numbers of households in almost all age groups. The greatest increases are seen in households headed by people aged 65 or over, which are projected to increase by 58 per cent, to 954,000 households in 2035. In contrast, households headed by someone aged under 65 are projected to increase by just 10 per cent, to around 1.93 million. The number of households headed by someone aged 85 or over is projected to more than double, to 198,000 households in 2035.
- Older people tend to live in smaller households. By 2035 there are projected to be 352,000 women aged 65 and over living alone and 168,000 men, increases of 50 per cent and 90 per cent respectively. Increases are particularly large in the oldest age groups (85+) where the numbers of women and men living alone increase by 158 and 216 per cent respectively. In 2035, 77 per cent of the oldest women and 38 per cent of the oldest men are projected to live alone.
Vacant dwellings and second homes
- Across Scotland, 2.8 per cent of dwellings are vacant and 1.5 per cent are second homes, though there is wide variation across the country.
1. These figures are based on two National Statistics publication released today by National Records of Scotland (NRS):
‘Estimates of Households and Dwellings in Scotland, 2011’
‘Household Projections for Scotland, 2010-based’
2. These statistics are mainly used for informing decisions about housing need and service provision.
3. The household projections are trend-based and are not, therefore, policy-based forecasts of what the Government expects to happen. They do not take into account social and economic factors that may influence the formation of households including policies adopted by both central and local government as well as any imbalances between housing supply and demand. In addition, projections for small groups are likely to be less reliable than those for larger groups.
4. Small area statistics on the characteristics of households and number of dwellings are available from the Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics website. These statistics include the number of dwellings by Council Tax band, type of dwelling, number of rooms, density of housing, and the percentage of dwellings which are occupied, vacant, second homes, or are entitled to a ‘single adult’ Council Tax discount, or an ‘occupied exemption’ (e.g., all-student households or armed forces accommodation).
5. Further statistics produced by NRS can be accessed here.
6. Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff. General information on NRS statistics can be accessed here.