Cifras INE

Households at Home

Confinement between four walls

Imagen portada Hogares en casa

The emergency caused by COVID-19 and the consequent obligatory confinement in the home implies a modification to the population’s habitual behaviours and an adaptation to the current circumstances.

The data from the Continuous Household Survey provides a good description of the population's basic demographic characteristics, the households that are formed, and the dwellings that are inhabited.

According to the 2019 survey, in Spain there are 18,625,700 households with an average size of 2.5 people. The survey considers the group of people living in the same home as a household.

From the latest figures, it can be deduced that one in four households is one-person and of these, 42% (just over two million) consist of someone over 65 years.

There are 1.9 million single-parent households (consisting of only one of the parents with children), eight out of ten of which consist of a mother with children.

As for housing, 13% have less than 60 m2 and 20% have four or fewer rooms (including the kitchen but not the bathroom).

INE Source: Continuous Household Survey 2019, Survey on Equipment and use of ICT in households 2019, Living Conditions Survey, module on welfare 2018, National Health Survey 2017.

Subir What are Spanish households like?

The number of households in Spain in 2019 is 18,625,700, with an average size of 2.5 people. Classified according to their size, the most frequent households are those made up of two people (30.4% of the total and 24.3% of the population), followed by one-person households (25.7% of the total and 10.3% of the population).

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The largest population group, around 13 million people, is the one that lives in four-member households. Almost 13% of the population lives in households of five or more people, with an average size of 5.5 people.

15.5% of the population living in family homes have less than 20 square meters per inhabitant.

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By typology, the most frequent household is that of a couple with children (33.4%), which includes a group of 22,655,800 people, of whom 528,700 are under the age of 15. The next most frequent type of household is the one-person household (25.7%).

Internet Access

91.4% of households have internet access and almost all of them, 99.7% (15 million households), have broadband internet. These high figures favour regular electronic commerce, as well as electronic administration and, above all, the use of social networks.

Physical Activity

From the 2017 National Health Survey, we know that people aged 16 and over spent an average of 3 hours and 22 minutes per week doing some type of physical activity in their free time, such as playing a sport, walking briskly, etc.

Subir Confinement in solitude

Graphic imageEIn Spain, one out of every four households is one-person, meaning that almost 4.8 million people are spending the confinement period alone. Of these, more than two million (10.7% of all households) are people over 65, who, according to the recommendations during the high-alert period, should not leave their homes.

The percentage of households made up of elderly people living alone increases to 16.2% in municipalities with less than 2,000 inhabitants.

According to the Welfare Module of the Survey on Living Conditions for the year 2018, 93% of people over 65 have the possibility of asking for non-material help, if needed, from friends, family or acquaintances.

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The highest percentages of single-person households correspond to the communities of the Principado de Asturias (30.5), Castilla y León (29.6) and La Rioja (28.6), while the lowest percentages are found in the autonomous cities of Melilla (18.6) and Ceuta (20.5), and in Región de Murcia (21.1).

Considering only the households of people over 65 who live alone, Castilla y León leads the ranking with 14.1%, followed by Principado de Asturias with 12.8% and La Rioja with 12.3%. The lowest percentages are found in Ceuta (6.2), Canarias (7.8) and Melilla (7.9).

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Use of ICTs by people 75 and older


If we analyse the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) by the elderly, we see that almost 12% of people aged 75 and older use the internet daily. Much of what older people use internet services for is related to communication and access to information: email (10.3%), calls and video calls (8.9%), participation on social networks (4.7%), instant messaging (16.8%), and reading news, newspapers and magazines (13.1%),…


Subir Households with children

Of the 6,887,900 children under 15 years of age residing in Spain, 76.7% live in households exclusively with both parents. Of these, more than a million live in households with three or more children.

Almost 10% of children, 649,400, live in single parent homes.

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ICT use among children

Children between the ages of 10 and 15 are heavy users of ICT products. Among them, about 90% are computer users and almost 93% use the internet. In addition, two out of three have a mobile phone.

On the other hand, the Living Conditions Survey indicates that 5% of households cannot afford a personal computer, a figure that rises to 11% in households consisting of one adult and one or more children.

Differences between the Autonomous Communities

Use by children of new technologies is uneven among the different Autonomous Communities. Thus, for example, while in the autonomous city of Ceuta and the Comunidad Valenciana the percentage of computer users is around 80% (79.6 and 82.8 respectively), this percentage is close to 100% in the Comunidad Foral de Navarra and the Principado de Asturias (99.2 and 97.4 respectively).

Regarding the use of the internet, the lowest values are found in the autonomous city of Ceuta, Illes Balears and Canarias; and the highest in the Principado de Asturias, Castilla y León and Galicia.

Regarding the availability of mobile phones, the autonomous city of Ceuta, Galicia and Cantabria have the lowest percentages and Extremadura, País Vasco, and Aragon the highest.

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Subir Household Characteristics

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Household Characteristics.

The typology of the household living spaces is very varied in terms of the number of rooms, the useful surface area and the building type.

In Spain, 8.8 million households reside in buildings with more than 10 homes, while 5.9 million reside in single-family homes.

The distribution of these characteristics is not homogeneous across the territory. Nationwide, 7.2 million people occupy homes with a per person area of less than 20 m2.

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Three out of every four households reside in a dwelling they own, while 18.2% (more than 3.4 million) reside in a rented dwelling.

Single-parent households, followed by one-person households are those that, in proportion to their number, to a greater extent reside in rented dwellings.

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