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Setting the scene – evidence of changing household behaviour? Christine M E Whitehead LSE London HEIF Event: the new population and household projections:

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Presentation on theme: "Setting the scene – evidence of changing household behaviour? Christine M E Whitehead LSE London HEIF Event: the new population and household projections:"— Presentation transcript:

1 Setting the scene – evidence of changing household behaviour? Christine M E Whitehead LSE London HEIF Event: the new population and household projections: implications for London LSE, 1 July 2013

2 Some History Household projections for many years consistently underestimated actual growth in household numbers from given population Main reasons: longevity; age structure; income growth – we don’t like living together ; However in 2000s, household projections started to overestimate household growth – particularly in London

3 By the mid 2000s Suggested projections were overestimating actual household formation between 2001 and 2006 by between 35,000 and 40,000 households per annum Two main reasons: - high levels of in-migration assumed but recent immigrants form fewer households during the first few years; - housing market pressures reducing the capacity to set up as separate households especially in high cost areas such as London (household formation among younger households started to drop in 1990s) By the 2008 based projections stronger evidence of both the impact of recession and of in-migrant impacts – but no capacity to adjust projections 3

4 The Big Differences in 2011 Population higher than ‘expected’ plus half a million Number of households lower – minus 375,000 Some concern that 2001 population was too low so trajectories are difficult to discern Large differences in household types - notably one person, couples plus adult and other multi- person households 4 4

5 Long term trend in household size Census 2011 found more people but fewer households than expected. No fall in household size, despite ageing population What were the changes? A new trend or a blip? 5 5

6 6 6 Household type changes Couples with no other adults. Projected tend change +428,000; actual increase +314,000. Partly offset by Couples with one or more other adults. Projected trend change -365,000, actual change +218,000. Lone-parent households. Projected trend change +373,000, actual change +274,000. Other multi-person households. Projected trend change -40,000, actual change +291,000. One-person households. Projected change +1,469,000, actual change +481,000.

7 7 Household Projections and Estimates for England based Couple, no other adult Couple, one or more other adult (All couples)(11631)(11441)(11504)(11949) Lone parents Other multi-person households One-person households All households based Couple, no other adult Couple, one or more other adult (All couples)(11631)(11441)(11973)(12846) Lone parents Other multi-person households One-person households All households

8 Differences between Trend Projection and Actual Change 2001 – Couples with one or more other adults +583,000 Other multi-persons households +331,000 One-person households-988,000 Total difference (excluding impact of higher population) - 74,000

9 Easy Explanations: Demographics? Since 2001, 30 years of continuity broken Younger people unable to form separate households because of debt; house prices and rents; uncertainties about employment etc Living with their parents or in multi –adult households in the prs Impacts on the household structure of older households But the growth in multi-person households concentrated in middle age and also changes in older household behaviour which aren’t just about men living longer 9

10 Easy Explanations: Economics and Social Recession and the depressed housing market has done little to improve affordability in pressure areas Uncertainties around employment opportunities Difficult access to the owner-occupied market Those in the prs consume less housing as compared to equivalent people in owner-occupation Fewer separations /more re-partnering among 35 – 60s Little direct evidence on causes 10

11 Using these figures for projections How much notice to take of 2011? Is it an outcome of recession and other shorter term issues? Is it partly an outcome of housing market issues – affordability/shortages? A 3 point or a 2 point projection Shorter term v longer term trends – will we return to ‘normal’ or is (to be annoying) the new normal? – or more likely somewhere in between 11

12 Conclusions: Planning in a period of uncertainty 12 We need a baseline for assessing future needs – for all types of social services and financial allocations, not just housing Projections must assume past economic trends – but a major issue when turning points Could we use a behavioural model a la Barker/Meen – equally problematic but more behavioural Major risks in planning for the next decade as if it were an extension of the 2000s Cannot know either about economic outcomes let alone capacity to form separate households - so are we just guessing?


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