Northern Ireland

Polarisation by housing tenure

Graphs on this page:

Supporting information:

Key points

  • Three-quarters of social sector head of households in Northern Ireland are not in paid work.  This proportion is higher than in any of the regions of Great Britain.
  • By contrast, the proportion of non-working head of households in owner occupation is, at a third, similar to the Great Britain average.
  • The proportion of social sector households where the head of the household is not in paid work is similar to a decade ago, and this proportion has been consistently higher in Northern Ireland than in Great Britain.
  • It has, however, not always been the case that Northern Ireland has had a higher proportion of non-working households in the social housing sector than any region of Great Britain.  25 years ago, in 1984, only London, Scotland and the South of England had lower proportions than Northern Ireland’s 62%.  Even after suffering a very sharp rise in the second half of the 1980s, this was still true of Northern Ireland’s 72% in 1991.
  • At all ages, around two-thirds of working-age heads of households in social housing are not in paid work.
  • In all authorities, at least half of the heads of working-age households living in social housing are not in paid work.

Definitions and data sources

This indicator shows how far households living in social housing accommodation are in paid work.  The potential concern here is that, if areas of social housing have very few working households, then the children brought up there may have too little experience of, and therefore not see themselves in the future as part of, the ‘world of work’.

The first graph shows how the proportion of households in social housing where the ‘household reference person’ (the person in the household with the highest income 1) is not in paid work has changed over time.  The term ‘head of household’ is used in the graph to refer to the ‘household reference person’.  For comparison purposes, the equivalent data for Great Britain is also shown.

The data source for the first graph is the Labour Force Survey (LFS).  The figures for each year are the average for the four quarters of the relevant year.

The second graph shows how the proportion of households where the household reference person is not in paid work varies by tenure and age group.

The third graph shows how the proportion of working-age households in social housing where the household reference person is not in paid work varies by local authority.

The data source for the second and third graphs is the 2001 Census (table S327).

The fourth graph shows how the proportion of households in social housing where the household reference person is not in paid work in Northern Ireland compares with the regions of Great Britain, with the data shown separately for social housing tenants and owner occupiers.

The data source for the fourth graph is the Labour Force Survey (LFS) and the data is average for the latest three years.

Overall adequacy of the indicator: high.  The LFS is a large, a well-established, quarterly government survey of designed to be representative of the population as a whole.

 

1. More specifically, the household reference person is the householder, i.e. the person who: a) owns the household accommodation, or b) is legally responsible for the rent of the accommodation, or c) has the household accommodation as an emolument or perquisite, or d) has the household accommodation by virtue of some relationship to the owner who is not a member of the household.  If there are joint householders the household reference person will be the one with the highest income.  If their income is the same, then the eldest householder is taken.