Home Census Were things really better back then? New census tool shows how...

Were things really better back then? New census tool shows how life in UK has changed | UK News

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Have you ever wondered if things were really better back then?

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) examined how life changed in England and Wales between 1961 and 2011.

The data, which was scanned for the first time, shows that in 1961 almost 7% of households did not have an indoor toilet – but in some areas it was more than half.

The map below shows the percentage of homes that did not have an indoor toilet in 1961, including two areas in Norfolk – Mitford and Launditch – where there were no indoor toilets in 59% of the homes.

Here, Sky News takes a look at some of the ONS’s other key findings.

Marriage and Divorce

The census showed that in 1961, 68% of people aged 16 and over were married, and the divorce rate was 0.8%.

This figure had fallen to 49% of people married or in a same-sex civil union in 2011, with 9% divorced or in a legally dissolved civil union.

The proportion of married people was lower in 2011 in almost all parts of England and Wales than 50 years ago.

Widows and widowers were slightly less numerous in 2011 than in 1961 (7% of people against 9%).

Home ownership

Census data also showed that more people owned homes in 2011 than they did 50 years ago.

In England and Wales, 42% of people owned their own homes in 1961, with this figure falling to less than 10% for parts of central London, for example Shoreditch.

By 2011, the homeownership rate had risen to 64%, but the lowest homeownership rate remained in London.

Elderly and rural populations

Rising life expectancy and falling birth rates have shown that the population grew and aged in 2011.

In 97% of the regions of England and Wales, the proportion of people over 75 had increased.

The places with the largest increases in residents aged 75 and over were mainly in the coastal areas of Norfolk and Suffolk. In Hunstanton, it went from 6% to 23%.

New towns such as Milton Keynes and Northampton were the local areas with the largest population increases in the five decades.

The ONS is currently reviewing data from the 1921 census and the results of this year’s census will be released next year.


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