Glossary:Under-occupied dwelling

An under-occupied dwelling is a dwelling deemed to be too large for the needs of the household living in it, in terms of excess rooms and more specifically bedrooms. Under-occupation is opposed to a situation of overcrowding. The classic cause of under-occupation is older individuals or couples remaining in their home after their children have grown up and left; family breakdown can also result in under-occupation.

For statistical purposes, a dwelling is defined as under-occupied if the household living in it has at its disposal more than the minimum number of rooms considered adequate, and equal to:

  • one room for the household;
  • one room per couple in the household;
  • one room for each single person aged 18 or more;
  • one room per pair of single people of the same gender between 12 and 17 years of age;
  • one room for each single person between 12 and 17 years of age and not included in the previous category;
  • one room per pair of children under 12 years of age.

Related concepts

Statistical data

Share of people living in under-occupied dwellings by age, sex and poverty status - Total population (ilc_lvho50a)