What’s driving our increasing population and household numbers?

Published: 4th May 2018

In brief

Claim

We have more households because of social change and people living longer for any given level of population than we had a generation ago.

Conclusion

Immigration has been the largest driver of the increasing population, according to the Office for National Statistics. Life expectancy has also been steadily increasing over the last few decades.

 

We have an expanding population.

 

Correct.

Claim 1 of 2

“We have an expanding population. We have more households because of social change and people living longer for any given level of population than we had a generation ago.”

David Lidington MP, 3 May 2018

The population of the UK is expanding. It was estimated to be 66 million in 2016, compared to 61 million ten years before.

The main driver of increased population has been immigration, according to the Office for National Statistics. Life expectancy in the UK has also been steadily increasing over the last few decades.

The average household size has not changed much in the last two decades, since current figures began. There are on average 2.4 people per household, and that’s been true every year since 1996.

Out of 27 million estimated households in the UK, the most common type belongs to the 16 million couples living together with or without children. 8 million households are one person living alone, and there are 3 million lone parent households.

There are also around 306,000 households with multiple families living in them, this has been the fastest growing group over the last decade. The Office for National Statistics says this “may be because of older couples moving in with their adult child and their family, young adults who are partnered or lone parents, remaining or returning to their parent’s household and unrelated families sharing a household.”

This factcheck is part of a roundup of BBC Question Time. Read the roundup.


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