Household Estimates and Projections
In July 2016 the Department for Communities & Local Government (DCLG) published projections for the numbers of households in each local authority area to the year 2039. The projections were based on the 2014-based population projections published in May 2016 by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The household projections are not an assessment of housing need or do not take account of future policies, they are an indication of the likely increase in households given the continuation of recent demographic trends.
A household is defined as one person living alone, or a group of people (not necessarily related) living at the same address who share cooking facilities and share a living room, sitting room or dining area. A household can consist of more than one family, or no families in the case of a group of unrelated people. The number of households is not the same as the number of residential dwellings (in that at any one time some dwellings will be empty).
Number of Households
- From its 2015 projection of around 236,500, the number of households in Somerset is projected to increase to nearly 250,000 by the year 2020 to reach 278,000 by the year 2035.
- Highest long-term rates of growth are projected to be in Sedgemoor and Taunton Deane, while West Somerset is projected to see the lowest growth in numbers of households (see Table 1).
- Note that the current projections are slightly higher than those published in 2015, with the exceptions of South Somerset (about the same) and West Somerset (slightly lower).
Table 1: Projected household numbers (in thousands)
||% change 2015-2035
Age of Household
The DCLG has also published projections for 2039 related to the age of the ‘household representative’, usually the oldest economically active adult living in a household.
- In Somerset, there are projected to be substantial increases between 2014 and 2039 in households where the representative is aged 75 or more.
- In 2014, it was estimated that there were more households where the representative was aged 45-54 than any other age group. By 2039, it is projected that the largest number of household representatives will be aged 75-84 (see Chart 1).
- The number of households where the representative is aged 85 or more is projected to rise by more than 150% to 31,600.
Chart 1 Projected households by Age of Household Representative (in thousands)
The 2014-based projections also incorporate 2011 Census data on household types; for instance, whether they contain one person, couples, families and so on.
- The largest projected increases between 2014 and 2039 are for single and adult couple households (see Chart 2).
- Most of the projected growth in households containing at least two dependent children will be in Sedgemoor.
- The projected increase in one- or two-person households in Somerset and England as a whole will reduce the average household size. In Somerset, the average number of people per household is projected to fall from 2.27 to 2.14.
- In West Somerset the average household size is projected to dip from 2.12 to 1.99, one of only six local authorities in England whose average size will be under 2 per household.
Chart 2 Projected households by Household Composition (in thousands)
- For more detailed figures for England and all local authorities, and an explanation of the methodology used in calculating household projections, please see the GOV.UK website.