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Crowding/Occupancy Rate

Crowding

Crowding in households relates to situations where the number of people residing in a household exceeds the capacity of the household to provide adequate shelter and services to its members. Freedom from crowding is one of the six dimensions of housing adequacy. There are three types of crowding indicator in this collection:

Equivalised Crowding Index

The Equivalised Crowding Index applies the concept of the adult individual’s need for a separate bedroom. The formula weights each individual who is in a couple relationship as one half, as well as children aged under 10 years (Morrison, 1994). This gives an equivalised number of people per bedroom. Any value in excess of 1.0 represents a measure of crowding. The formula is:

Equivalised Crowding Index = [(1/2 number of children under 10 years) + (number of couples) + (all other people aged 10 years and over)] / number of bedrooms

The Canadian National Occupancy Standard

The Canadian National Occupancy Standard (CNOS) has been developed by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) to help determine the number of bedrooms a dwelling should have to provide freedom from crowding. The CNOS is based on the number, age, sex and interrelationships of household members.

The CNOS states that

  • No more than two people shall share a bedroom
  • Parents or couples may share a bedroom
  • Children under 5 years, either of the same sex or opposite sex may share a bedroom
  • Children under 18 years of the same sex may share a bedroom
  • A child aged 5 to 17 years should not share a bedroom with a child under 5 of the opposite sex
  • Single adults 18 years and over and any unpaired children require a separate bedroom

In the work of CMHC, the CNOS is used in combination with other indicators such as state of repair and cost to produce a composite indicator of "core housing need". It is not possible to make direct comparisons between levels of crowding in Canada and New Zealand, since the Canadian data is presented in a different format. Namely, a household in Canada is deemed to be crowded if it has insufficient bedrooms (according to the CNOS), and if it would have to spend thirty percent or more of its total before-tax income to obtain alternative accommodation of an adequate size. According to these criteria, in 1996, 2.1 percent (222,430) of Canadian households were deemed to be crowded.

The American Crowding Index

The American Crowding Index is an alternative measure of household crowding used by the United States Census Bureau. It is defined as the number of usual residents in a dwelling divided by the number of rooms in the dwelling. This measure of crowding is less detailed than the Equivalised Crowding Index and the Canadian National Occupancy Standard as it does not take into account the type of rooms in the dwelling, nor does it make adjustments for the age and sex of the usual residents.

The U.S. Census Bureau classifies dwellings with more than one person per room as "crowded" and dwellings with more than 1.5 people per room as "severely crowded".

Occupancy Rate

Occupancy Rate is defined as the total number of occupants usually resident in private dwellings divided by the total number of occupied private dwellings. This gives the average number of people per dwelling or simply average household size.

This definition relates only to people who usually reside in private dwellings, hence visitors are excluded.

The occupancy rate describes the relationship between New Zealand's housing stock and the changing social structure. Since there has been a large increase in the number of one-person households over the last three censuses, and one-person households have a significant effect on this indicator (they have the lowest possible occupancy rate of 1.0), separate tables are given where one-person households are excluded.

Number of Usual Residents

This is a statistical, not a legal, definition generally based on a person's self-identified usual address (i.e. where they usually live). The Statistical Standard for Usual Residence (1999) states that usual residence is the address of the dwelling where a person self-identifies that they usually live.

Other tables in this section include:

NZ.Stat links

Average Crowding Index Using Canadian National Occupancy Standard for Households in Private Occupied Dwellings 1991, 1996 and 2001 

Household by Crowding Categories of Canadian National Occupancy Standard as a Percentage of All Private Occupied Dwellings 1991, 1996 and 2001 

Crowding Measures by Ethnic Group 

Average American Crowding Index: Average Number of People per Room for Households in Private Occupied Dwellings 1991, 1996 and 2001 

Households by American Crowding Index Category As a Percentage of All Private Occupied Dwellings 1991, 1996 and 2001 

Occupancy Rate for Usually Resident Households 

Occupancy Rate by Ethnic Group 

Household Composition and Occupancy Rate 

Sector of Landlord and Number of Rooms, for Households in Rented Private Occupied Dwellings 1996 and 2001

Fuel Type Used to Heat Dwellings (Combinations) and Number of Rooms, for Private Occupied Dwellings, 2001 

Tenure of Household and Number of Rooms, for Households in Private Occupied Dwellings,2001 

Number of Rooms and Weekly Rent Paid by Household, for Households in Rented Private Occupied Dwellings, 2001 

Tenure of Household, Ethnic Group in Household (Level 1 Grouped Total Responses) and Number of Bedrooms, for Households in Private Occupied Dwellings, 1991, 1996 and 2001 

Sector of Landlord and Number of Bedrooms, for Households in Rented Private Occupied Dwellings, 1991, 1996 and 2001 

Tenure of Household, Fuel Types Used to Heat Dwelling (Total Responses) and Number of Bedrooms, for Households in Private Occupied Dwellings, 1991, 1996 and 2001 

Number of Usual Residents in Household and Number of Bedrooms, for Households in Private Occupied Dwellings, 2001 

Number of Bedrooms and Weekly Rent Paid by Household, for Households in Rented Private Occupied Dwellings, 2001

Number of Rooms and Weekly Rent Paid by Household, for Households in Rented Private Occupied Dwellings, 2001 

Tenure of Household, Number of Usual Residents in Household and Number of Bedrooms, for Households in Private Occupied Dwellings, 1991, 1996 and 2001

Tenure of Household, Ethnic Group in Household (Level 1 Grouped Total Responses) and Number of Usual Residents in Household, for Households in Private Occupied Dwellings, 1991, 1996 and 2001 

Tenure of Household, Total Household Income and Number of Usual Residents in Household, for Households in Private Occupied Dwellings, 1991 

 Tenure of Household, Total Household Income and Number of Usual Residents in Household, for Households in Private Occupied Dwellings, 1996 and 2001

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