Family Resources Survey for Northern Ireland 2016-17 published

Date published: 22 November 2018

The summary report entitled ‘The Family Resources Survey Report, Northern Ireland, 2016/17’ (containing statistics for the period April 2016 to the end of March 2017) was published today.

Statistical graphic

The reports provide summary and long-term trend information on Income; State Support; Informal Caring; Savings and investments; and Tenure. They also provide information on household characteristics and demographics including disability and economic activity. It is important to note that the Family Resources Survey (FRS) is not the official source of some of these statistics such as those on economic activity and employment status. However, this type of information is included in the FRS report, as many of the household income statistics are analysed by the demographic information collected via this survey. The key findings from the summary reports are provided below.

Key findings include:

  • The 2016/17 report shows that income from employment and self-employment accounts for around 69p of every £1 of income. This is slightly below the UK overall, where 71p in every £1 comes from employment and self-employment.
  • Around 59% of NI households receive some form of State Support (to include State Pension), compared with around 55% of UK households.
  • Over the last decade there has been a marked change in housing tenure among NI households. There has been a substantial decline in the proportion of households ‘Buying with a mortgage’ from around 41% in 2006/07 to 26% in 2016/17. Over the same period there has been a steady increase in the proportion of households who are ‘renting privately’, increasing to 21% in 2016/17 from 13% in 2006/07. There have been similar changes in tenure across the UK as a whole, with the growth in private renting being particularly noticeable among younger households (where the head of household is under 45 years old) in both NI and the UK overall.
  • The reports also provide a range of information on people providing and people receiving informal care in Northern Ireland. Analysis shows that around one-third of informal carers balance their caring responsibilities with full-time employment. However, it also shows that, compared with the total adult population, carers are themselves more likely to be economically inactive, including because of their own sickness or disability.

Notes to editors: 

  1. This survey collects detailed data on income levels, resources and financial circumstances of individuals and households for the period from April 2016 to the end of March 2017. The FRS has been carried out in Great Britain since 1992, but 2002/03 saw the introduction of Northern Ireland for the first time
  2. Households interviewed in the survey are asked a wide range of questions about their circumstances. Although some of the information collected is available elsewhere, the FRS provides new or much more detailed information in a number of areas and brings some topics together on one survey
  3. Although the FRS is specifically of interest to DfC, other government departments and outside researchers will benefit from the availability of such a data source.  The database can be accessed through the UK Data Archive
  4. Reports for the UK are available on the DWP website and for Northern Ireland on the DfC website 
  5. All media queries should be directed to the Department for Communities Press Office on 028 9082 3502 or email Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 028 9037 8110 and your call will be returned

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