New data from the Office for National Statistics show that, calculated from 2016, the number of households in England is set to increase by 17 per cent over the next 25 years.
This equates to the 22.9 million households in 2016 to 26.9 million in 2041, or 159,000 new households a year – significantly lower than the 210,000 that was projected in 2014.
The ONS defines households as either one person living alone, or a group of people living at the same address who share cooking facilities and a living room.
All regions in England are expected to grow, with London hosting the highest jump at 24 per cent, from 3.4 million to 4.3 million – necessitating the development of 845,000 new homes. The North East projection is the lowest, at 8 per cent.
Another significant number is the 54 per cent growth expected in households headed by somebody aged 65 years and over, while those headed by somebody under 65 will increase by a relatively paltry 3 per cent.
Within these wider age brackets, the most eye-catching projections are that households headed by somebody 85 and over may increase by 111 per cent, and that the 35 to 44 and 45 to 54 brackets are set to decrease by 1 per cent each.
The ONS goes to great pains to point out that these projections are not forecasts, rather a logical extrapolation of past growth rates. The projections do not take factors such as changing government policy or the macroeconomic picture into account.
ONS centre for ageing and demography statistician Joanna Harkrader says: “Today’s figures show that the number of households in England is projected to increase [by] a slower growth than previously projected. This reflects lower projections of the population – notably assumptions around future births, how long we’ll live and migration – and more up-to-date figures about living arrangements, such as living with parents or cohabiting.”