England and Wales Census 2021 - RM181: Sexual orientation by family composition

This dataset provides Census 2021 estimates that classify usual residents aged 16 years and over in households in England and Wales, by sexual orientation and family composition. The estimates are as at Census Day, 21 March 2021.

Some sub-populations have age and geographic profiles that may affect the relationships with other variables such as education, employment, health and housing. Take care when using this variable with others. We will publish more detailed commentary and guidance later this year. Read more about this quality notice.

Data about household relationships might not always look consistent with legal partnership status. This is because of complexity of living arrangements and the way people interpreted these questions. Take care when using these two variables together. Read more about this quality notice.

Area type

Census 2021 statistics are published for a number of different geographies. These can be large, for example the whole of England, or small, for example an output area (OA), the lowest level of geography for which statistics are produced.

For higher levels of geography, more detailed statistics can be produced. When a lower level of geography is used, such as output areas (which have a minimum of 100 persons), the statistics produced have less detail. This is to protect the confidentiality of people and ensure that individuals or their characteristics cannot be identified.


Census 2021 statistics are published for the whole of England and Wales. Data are also available in these geographic types:

  • country - for example, Wales
  • region - for example, London
  • local authority - for example, Cornwall
  • health area – for example, Clinical Commissioning Group
  • statistical area - for example, MSOA or LSOA

Sexual orientation

Classifies people according to the responses to the sexual orientation question. This question was voluntary and was only asked of people aged 16 years and over.

Household composition

Households according to the relationships between members.

One-family households are classified by:

  • the number of dependent children
  • family type (married, civil partnership or cohabiting couple family, or lone parent family)

Other households are classified by:

  • the number of people
  • the number of dependent children
  • whether the household consists only of students or only of people aged 66 and over

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
Last Updated May 9, 2023, 10:19 (BST)
Created May 9, 2023, 10:19 (BST)
Visibility Public
Year 2021
Topics Accommodation and housing
Units Persons
Geographic Layer Counties
Integrated Care Boards
Local Authorities
Local Health Boards
London Boroughs
Lower Tier Local Authorities
Metropolitan Districts
NHS England Regions
Non-Metropolitan Districts
Sub Integrated Care Board Locations
Unitary Authorities
Upper Tier Local Authorities
Frequency Decennial
DOI https://doi.org/10.5257/census/aggregate-2021-1
Citation Office for National Statistics; National Records of Scotland; Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency; UK Data Service. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5257/census/aggregate-2021-1
Geographical Coverage Location England and Wales
Granularity Country level down to LTLA
Geographic Spatial data {"geo_type": "polygon", "lat": "52.4036", "lon": "-1.93872", "left": "-6.53687", "top": "55.8275", "right": "1.98853", "bottom": "49.6694", "srid": null, "accuracy": null, "source": null}