Rise and fall


This report from the UK think tank Civitas looks at the shift in household growth rates since the 1990s.

Rates of household formation, which were increasing rapidly for much of the 20th century, have plateaued over the past two decades and household sizes, previously falling, have started rising once more. This had led some commentators to believe that England’s housing needs have been over-estimated and that housebuilding targets should be scaled back.

This paper explores why these shifts have occurred and what conclusions may safely be drawn from them. It illustrates how much of the decline in household formation has been due to younger people living with their parents for longer, and how this has largely been a result to housing pressures – indicating that rising household sizes are a sign that housebuilding should be stepped up rather than scaled back.

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