London leads collapse in GB home owners

Ben Southwood
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THE PERCENTAGE of home-owners in England and Wales plunged between 2001 and 2011, according to census figures out yesterday.

There were 14.85m home-owners across the two countries, according to the 2011 census, carried out by the Office for National Statistics.

The rise of around 7,000 came despite a 1.71m increase in the number of households over the period. This meant only 63.5 per cent of English and Welsh residents were owner-occupiers in 2011, versus some 68.2 per cent back in 2001.

And the same figures for London fell even more sharply. Just 33.5 per cent of Londoners owned their home in 2011, versus 55.6 per cent in 2001.

The number in private rented accommodation soared from 14.3 per cent eleven years ago to 23.7 per cent last year. The fraction in social rented accommodation rocketed from 26.2 per cent to 32.2 per cent.

And the total number of London homeowners also fell, from 1.68m to 1.58m, despite a rise in the number of households in the capital – there were 3.27m last year, compared to 3.02m.

As well as leading the country in the move toward renting, London saw the fastest boom in population over the ten year period. The number of residents in the capital soared 851,000 – 12 per cent – between 2001 and 2011, meaning the city represents some 15 per cent of the total population of England and Wales.

London is also the most ethnically and culturally diverse region of the UK – and it got more diverse over the period. Some 36.7 per cent of residents were born outside the UK, up from 27.1 per cent in 2001, compared to a figure of 13.4 per cent across England and Wales. Around 44.9 per cent of Londoners called themselves White British, compared to 80.5 per cent for the country as a whole.

As well as boasting unparalleled diversity, London enjoyed the most qualified populace. Some 37.7 per cent of residents had qualifications higher than A levels, up from 31.0 per cent in 2001, and against a rate of 27.2 per cent across the population at large.

To top it off, London managed to swim against the current of age, bringing the proportion over 65 down from 12.4 per cent to 11.1 per cent.