This variable provides information as to whether an unoccupied household space is a second or holiday home or is a vacant household space. It is based on information provided by the enumerator, and also information on the household questionnaire. The enumerator is not asked to differentiate between second homes and holiday homes so they cannot be distinguished in output.
Vacant household spaces identified by the enumerator have a placeholder form completed. Guidance given to enumerators suggested vacant accommodation should be habitable, or being put back to a habitable state, and is usually:
- new accommodation, ready for occupation but not occupied yet;
- accommodation that is being converted, improved or renovated and not occupied at the time of the census; or
- existing accommodation with or without furniture or which the enumerator has been reliably informed isn’t occupied; for example, a house waiting for new occupiers to move in.
Second or holiday homes are made up of households which have been identified as such by the enumerator using a placeholder form. Household spaces which are identified by the enumerator as absents, refusals or non-returns but which did not subsequently have a household imputed by the adjustment process are re-classified as second or holiday homes in output. Households that return a form but then prove to be visitor households are classified as second/holiday homes in output.
Total number of categories 3
|Occupied household space|
|Unoccupied household space: second residence/holiday home|
|Unoccupied household space: vacant|
Source question or variables
PLREASON (Primary variable)
SIZHUK11 (Derived variable)
TERMIND (Primary variable)
Scotland (2001) comparison
In 2001, household spaces which were identified by the enumerator as absents, refusals or non-returns but which did not subsequently have a household imputed by the adjustment process were classified as vacant in output. This is different from the approach taken in 2011, when they were classified as second/holiday homes. This is because, as part of the quality assurance process, these counts were compared with council tax returns, and this suggested that second/holiday homes was a more appropriate category for refusals. The guidance given to enumerators also suggested that these households spaces were unlikely to be vacant.