25 year projection of household size (people per household) for Council Areas, Strategic Development Planning Areas, and National Parks. The data given here is part of the same projection shown in the 'Household projections' dataset, which shows a more detailed breakdown of the projection
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(showing types of area available in these data)
Note: These may be large files.
Average household size is defined by the Number of people living in private (non-communal) households in an area divided by the number of households in the area.
Household projections are produced by the National Records of Scotland (NRS) every two years. The method and sources of data used for the 2016-based household projections have not changed significantly from those used for the 2014-based projections.
This set of projections covers the period from 2016 to 2041, a projection period of 25 years. The household projections incorporate the latest (2016-based) population projections and the 2016 and 2017 household estimates (both available on the NRS website). Information from Scotland’s Census 1991, 2001 and 2011 and the 2016 Scottish Household Survey is used to project trends in the types of household that people are living in. Data from a range of sources on residents in communal establishments, such as care homes or prisons, are also included in order to project only the part of the population living in private households (non-communal). The results of the household projections are presented for Scotland, and for each Council, Strategic Development Plan (SDP) and National Park area.
The 2016-based household projection uses the 2016-based population projections, which gives information on the number, age and sex of people for each year of the projection period. For household estimates the population is first reduced by removing those residing in communal establishments to produce the population in private households. Applying headship rates to the private population produces household estimates. The headship rates are projected from the last 3 census years and from Scottish household Survey (SHS) data for 2016. After the initial projection, the data is re-constrained to the 2017 household estimate totals to make use of the more up-to-date dataset. Further refinements and constraints are done in order to ensure consistency with the input datasets.
Exactly the same methodology and procedures is used to produce all projections and geographies using a carefully checked and tested program. Output is compared to the previous projection to ensure consistency. Consistency between the three projection types is checked to ensure there are no large divergences. Any changes from the previous projections were investigated and ensured they were explainable from trends in the input data. Input datasets were checked for consistency with previous years, and any discrepancies queried with the data supplier.
The household projections have limitations. A projection is a calculation showing what happens if particular assumptions are made. The household projections are trend-based and are not, therefore, policy-based forecasts of what the Government expects to happen. They are based on the population projections and, as a result, assumptions used for the population projections, such as future migration, fertility and mortality, will have an effect on the household projections. The household projections also rely on projecting trends in household formation from the 1991, 2001 and 2011 Censuses and the Scottish Household Survey to 2041. No forecast is made of future changes that may alter these trends, such as economic and social change, as well as imbalances between housing supply and demand. In addition, projections for small groups are likely to be less reliable that those for larger groups as they are based on data from smaller numbers of people (or households). The uncertainty in the projections increases as they are taken further into the future.
The 2016-based household projection report focuses on the ‘principal projection’, that is the projection based on the assumptions that we think are most likely to occur, but also includes sections on household projections prepared using alternative population projections. These variant projections reflect possible effects of uncertainty in the assumptions made about migration in the population projections.
More information can be found in the ‘Sources and methods’ and ‘Definitions and limitations of the household projections’ sections of the latest 'Household projections for Scotland'.
Household estimates and projections for other parts of the UK are available from the following sources:
• England: Department for Communities and Local Government
• Wales: Welsh Government
• Northern Ireland: Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency
There are many similarities between the projections, but also some subtle differences between methods. A joint report containing a broad comparison of the household projection methodologies across the UK can be found on the Welsh Government website. The report was published in 2011, therefore it doesn’t include the changes we made to our method for the 2012-based household projections onwards or any changes that may have been made by other parts of the UK. However it provides a useful starting point in understanding the methods used by each country.
It is the policy of the NRS to make its website and products accessible according to published guidelines. More information is available in the Accessibility section of the NRS website.
Household projections are mainly used for informing council decisions about future housing need and service provision (such as waste collection and community care). They feed into development plans, including assessments of housing need and demand for the future. The projections are also used to help inform policy development and for answering requests for information from Ministers, councils, academics, other organisations and the general public.
Household estimates and projections (Scotland and the UK) are used directly and indirectly in the production of certain statistics contained within the Annual Government Expenditure and Revenues Scotland (GERS) publication and the Quarterly National Accounts Scotland (QNAS) releases. They are used in QNAS as an auxiliary variable (alongside consumption data) in the production of Household Final Consumption Expenditure estimates by product. In turn, these expenditures inform the GERS publication in estimating revenues associated with consumption (e.g. VAT and duties).
Some councils use information from the household projections, such as the proportion of people of each age group living in communal establishments, in producing local projections of future household numbers.
The projection uses household estimates from 2016 and 2017. The projection is published as soon as possible after the household estimates become available (2 months later). The projection is considered 2016 based as communal establishment data used in the projection is only available for 2016 by time of publishing and the Scottish household survey (SHS) which is used to identify the type of households is only available for 2016
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Population Projection Variant
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The data in this dataset are stored in the graph: http://statistics.gov.scot/graph/household-projections-of-average-household-size
The data structure definition for this data cube dataset is stored in the same graph as the data: http://statistics.gov.scot/graph/household-projections-of-average-household-size
All other metadata about this dataset are stored in the graph: http://statistics.gov.scot/graph/household-projections-of-average-household-size/metadata
A breakdown by type of the 3,052 resources in this dataset's data graph.
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