The amount of overcrowding within a home provides a direct measure of the housing conditions in which children are growing up, compared with more generalised assumptions about certain forms of tenure. Previous work from the NCDS has drawn attention to the prevalence of overcrowding in the study children’s homes and to factors associated with this situation (Davie et al., 1972; Wedge and Prosser, 1973; Essen and Parrinder, 1975). Overcrowding was found to be more common among children than among the general population, but the extent of overcrowding varied according to type of tenure, with the prevalence highest in the furnished rented sector but also surprisingly high in council housing. There were clear associations with social class, and not unexpectedly, with family size. As the children grew older, overcrowding reduced somewhat, and nearly twice as many children had ceased to be overcrowded by 11 as had become so between 7 and 11 (Essen and Parrinder, 1975).
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