How many private renters are there and where do we live?
As part of our work to strengthen the democratic voice of private renters, it has been important to understand how many of us there are and where we live. We have taken a look at the 2021 Census for England and Wales to identify which parts of the country have the largest private renter populations and where these have changed most significantly in the 2010s.
Our first full report using Census data, Gaining Our Voice, was published in November 2023 and can be found here. We also looked at voter registration data to understand differences in voter behaviour between private renters and people in other tenures.
As part of this work we have set up two dashboards where you can find and compare the following demographic characteristics at constituency level – both 2010 and 2024 boundaries:
- Voter registration over time (2010 constituencies only)
- Ethnic profile
- Tenure profile
- Young voters
- Religion (2024 constituencies only)
- Country of birth (2024 constituencies only)
On each dashboard you can use the dropdown menu to select up to three constituencies to compare.
The data used in the report, including at local authority level, is also available here. These spreadsheets can be sorted to find areas with particular characteristics.
As part of the report we also estimated the number of eligible voters in each tenure in England, including 6.8m individual private renters. We also estimate that in total there are just under 12m adults and children in England’s private rented sector. Our calculations can be found here.
Another source of data that can help us to understand the private renter population is the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) register. All private rented homes need an EPC by law and they are all logged online, with tenure details. We have been able to find the number of private rented properties in every postcode and have sorted these by constituency (both 2010 and 2024 boundaries). You can view and compare this data by constituency on our dashboards.
We hope to improve the presentation of the data and provide more features after consultation with stakeholders. To share your feedback, please contact Dan Wilson Craw on [email protected].
The data is accurate to the best of our knowledge and we will update it as and when we get access to more recent or better sources.
The UK Democracy Fund, a Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust initiative, funded the work set out on this page. The material presented here represents the views of the authors, not necessarily those of JRRT or other UK Democracy Fund contributors.