There are 21,660,475 households in England and Wales according to Census 2001, and 30.0 per cent of these (6.5 million) are one-person households - up from 26.3 per cent in 1991.
Nearly half of the one-person households (3.1 million) are one-pensioner only households and three-quarters of these (2,366,000) are occupied by a woman living on her own. However, in the remaining 3,376,000 one-person households, male occupants outnumber women by three to two.
Single-person households are least likely to have amenities such as central heating or sole use of a bath/shower and toilet. More than one-in-eight of single-person households do not have central heating - this amounts to over 383,000 pensioners and over 430,000 non-pensioners.
Over 70,000 single-person households do not have sole use of a bath/shower and toilet - 21,000 of these being pensioners. More than half of pensioners living alone have a limiting long-term illness (52.8 per cent). In pensioner-family households, 60.4 per cent contains someone with a limiting long-term illness.