Household size

Key points

Estimates from Census 2021 show that:

  • The average household size was 2.3 persons for both the Lancashire-12 and Lancashire-14 areas
  • There were 165,178 one person households in the Lancashire-12 area
  • 184,488 two person households
  • 81,574 three person households
  • 61,511 four person households
  • and 32,496 households of size five or greater.
  • Pendle was ranked in 14th, 15th and 15th place in England and Wales for 6, 7 and 8 person households by proportion
  • One person households represented just 28.8% of the total in West Lancashire, but 38.0% in Blackpool


This article uses statistics that were published as part of the Phase 1 - Census 2021 topic summaries. These are estimates based on information submitted by householders and other respondents on Census Day 2021, which was on 21st March.

Average household size

The average household size of 2.4 persons was recorded at the national level, unchanged from the 2011 average. In Lancashire the average was slightly lower in 2021 at 2.3 for both the Lancashire-12 and Lancashire-14 areas. At the local authority level in Lancashire, there were only limited variations, with lows of 2.1 people per household in the neighbouring authorities of Fylde and Blackpool, and a high of 2.6 in Blackburn with Darwen.   

Households by household size in the Lancashire-12 area

In the Lancashire-12 area there were 165,178 one person households, 184,488 two person households, 81,574 three person households, 61,511 four person households and 32,496 households of size five or greater.

Lancashire compared to England and Wales

The results for the number of people per household reveal that for Lancashire-12, there was a small tendency towards a higher percentage of one person households (31.4%) than the national average (30.2%). There were also slightly smaller percentages in the three, four and larger categories in Lancashire-12 than at the national level. 

Variations between local authorities in Lancashire

When considering the variations between Lancashire authorities we see that one person households represented just 28.8% of the total in West Lancashire, but 38.0% in Blackpool. Households with five or more people accounted for a significant 13% of the total in Blackburn with Darwen and 11.3% in Pendle, but only 4.2% or under in Wyre and Fylde. Blackburn with Darwen was ranked in 11th, 10th and 10th place out of all England and Wales authorities for 5, 6 and 7 person households by proportion respectively, while Pendle was ranked in 14th, 15th and 15th place for 6, 7 and 8 person households by proportion, respectively.

The Microsoft Power BI report

Navigation around the five pages of the report are by using the navigation buttons or the left/right/menu controls in the middle of the footer bar. The graph on the first page shows the eight household sizes.

The table on the second page shows the eight household sizes by count and percentage for geographies from Lancashire district to England and Wales.

On page 3 'Household size local authority rankings' all of the household sizes are included in the selection slicer, plus additional groupings for larger household sizes, which will only select one size. The table lists the fourteen lower-tier local authorities in the Lancashire-14 area showing the percentage of households in that size and the ranking out of all 331 England and Wales authorities.

Page 4 compares selected sub-types with the England and Wales rate. The arrow icons help to indicate which areas have rates above, below or fairly similar to the England and Wales rate. You can click or tap on the header (or household size) to sort the table in the order for that size. One feature this page reveals is the low number of authorities with rates for 3 or 4 person households which are higher than the national average. There are four Lancashire districts that have a higher 3 person household rate than England (16%), but only by 0.4 percentage points at the most in South Ribble and West Lancashire. Blackburn with Darwen has a higher rate for 4 person households (13.3%) than England (12.9%) by 0.4 percentage points and in West Lancashire and Chorley the difference is less.

Page 5 includes a ward map for the Lancashire-14 area. ONS have not published Census 2021 figures for electoral wards (as yet) but the reports calculates values for wards from census output area (COA) tables using an ONS best-fit look-up table. In most of the districts of Lancashire there have been ward boundary reviews  since 2003 when the COAs were first produced, and these often involve changes that no longer conform to COA groupings, following polling district boundaries instead. The best-fit table allocates each COA to a ward according to where the majority of the population are situated. Most of the COAs will entirely or largely sit within an electoral ward and in those districts where boundary reviews were not undertaken since 2003 (Burnley, Fylde, Hyndburn and Rossenale) they will fit exactly. West Lancashire has not undergone a full review in time for the Census 2021, but a parish boundary change in 2007 resulted in minor ward boundary alterations, and more substantial changes will come into effect in 2023. New ward boundaries will also take effect in Fylde in 2023. This best-fit issue, combined with the minor adjustments ONS make to the figures for reason statistical of disclosure control (targeted record swapping) and the magnifying effect of adding the many COA values together, will make the ward figures rather imprecise, so they should be considered only as a guide to the real values. The percentages shown should be fairly reliable.

Interactive report

Source: NOMIS: Census 2021: Household size