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Household composition

All of the information on this page comes from the 2021 Census.


There were 82,800 households in Herefordshire in 2021. This was 4,500 more households than in 2011 (up by 5.7%), compared with a 6.1% increase across England & Wales. There were around 184,000 usual residents who lived in households. The remaining 2,400 usual residents lived in communal establishments - 500 fewer than 10 years ago.

The need for housing, to a certain extent, is dependent on the current distribution of household composition types. For example a higher proportion of single person households would indicate a higher demand for smaller dwellings.

People who live alone

14% of adults living in households live alone in Herefordshire, similar to England & Wales (13%). This amounts to 25,400 single-person households, around half (51%) are pensioners (aged 66+); this equates to 28% of all pensioners.

Herefordshire has a higher proportion (16%) of lone pensioner households compared to England and Wales (13%), whereas the proportion of other single person households in the county (15%) is lower (17% nationally).

Households with children

There are fewer households with dependent children in 2021 than 10 years previously: 19,600 in 2021 compared with 20,700 in 2011, making up just under a quarter of households (24%); a lower proportion than England & Wales (28%). There were 8,300 households with grown-up children living at home – a 12% increase since 2011 (although as a proportion of all households this has not changed significantly).

There were 7,300 lone parent households in 2021. The proportion (9%) remains relatively stable and is lower than for England & Wales (11%).

Concealed families

The last decade has seen a large increase in the number of concealed families, i.e. those that live in a household containing more than one family (including grown-up children who have a spouse, partner or child living in the household; elderly parents living with their family; or unrelated families sharing a home).  Concealed families can be used as an indicator of housing demand for planning purposes, as this group potentially includes those interested in future household formation.  In 2021 there were around 950 concealed families, around 100 more than in 2011.

Household composition around Herefordshire

There is a higher proportion of lone pensioner households in the market towns. Furthermore, whilst rural Herefordshire has relatively high proportions of older adults (aged 45 to 75), the market towns have the highest proportions of people aged 80+.

The proportion of other single person households is higher in the city and the market towns, whilst proportions of married or same-sex civil partnership couple households without children are higher rural locations.

The proportion of lone parent households with dependent children is highest in the city.