Without central heating

Graphs on this page:

Supporting information:

Key points

  • Note that the latest data is currently for 2003/04 as the question was not asked in either 2004/05 or 2005/06.
  • In 2003/04, 3% of all households in Northern Ireland lacked central heating, half the Great Britain average of 7%.
  • Households in the poorest fifth are only slightly more likely than households with average incomes to lack central heating (5% compared with 4%).  Only households with above-average incomes have yet lower proportions still without central heating.  This is a different pattern from Great Britain, where it is still the case that 10% of households in the poorest fifth lack central heating.
  • In 2001, those living in private rented accommodation in Northern Ireland were most likely to lack central heating (10%), followed by those in social rented accommodation (8%).  Just 3% of owner occupiers lacked central heating.
  • Since low-income households are no more likely to lack central heating than households with average income, it is not surprising that the pattern across Northern Ireland is not obviously aligned with other measures of deprivation.  The proportion without central heating is highest is Moyle, Strabane and Fermanagh, lowest in Castlereagh and second lowest in Derry.  The proportion lacking central heating in Belfast is also below average.

Definitions and data sources

Central heating that ensures that the house is warm in winter and free from damp makes an important contribution towards good health.

The first graph shows how the proportion of households without central heating varies by level of household income.  For comparison purposes, the equivalent data for Great Britain is also shown.

The data source for the first graph is the Family Resources Survey (FRS).  The data is for 2003/04 (Northern Irish data not being available for earlier years and the question not being asked in either 2004/05 or 2005/06).  Income is household disposable income, equivalised (adjusted) to take account of household composition and is measured after deducting housing costs.  Note that, although the statistics are for Northern Irish households only, the allocations to income quintile are those for the total UK population income distribution.

The second graph shows, for 2001, how the proportion varies by housing tenure.

The third graph show, for 2001, how the proportion of households without central heating varies by local authority.

The data source for the second and third graphs is the 2001 Census (tables S358 and KS19).

Overall adequacy of the indicator: medium.  The FRS is a well-established annual government survey designed to be representative of the population as a whole and the Northern Ireland sample has been boosted to improve sample sizes but the question has not been included in the survey since 2003/04.