This is our last report that looks at the accuracy and completeness of electoral registers compiled under the household registration system, using registers from February and March 2014.
After this, the system is changing to individual electoral registration (IER). Each individual will be responsible for registering to vote, rather than one member of the household registering all those who live at a property
Our findings set out the accuracy and completeness and provide a baseline position for the overall impact on the registers as a result of the transition.
There has not been a significant change in levels of accuracy since 2010.
A separate study, published alongside this report, estimated the accuracy of the December 2010 registers to be around 89%. This study has found the February/March 2014 registers to be 86% accurate.
The local government registers were 84.7% complete.
The parliamentary registers were 85.9% complete.
These results show that the level of completeness of the registers has remained stable since our previous assessments.
The patterns of registration by socio-demographic factors are in line with previous research findings and confirm that population mobility remains the demographic variable with the strongest impact on completeness.
All figures presented below are for the local government registers.
Women are slightly more likely to be registered than men (85.8% against 83.6%).
Levels of completeness generally increase with age with the exception of those aged 18-19 (76.1%) who are more likely to appear on the register than those in the age group 20-24 (70.2%). The highest level of completeness is seen for those aged 65+ (95.45%) and the lowest level is recorded for 16-17 year old attainers (51%).
Levels of completeness also increase with length of residence at a property, with the highest level seen for those who have been at their property for more than sixteen years (93.9%) and the lowest one for those who have lived at their property for less than one year (40.1%).
Housing tenure also has a clear relationship with levels of completeness with home-owners – outright, mortgage or shared ownership – more likely to be registered than people who rent or live in communal establishments. As with previous studies, private renters have the lowest level of completeness (63.3%).
Nationality has previously been linked to variations in the completeness. This study found that 86.5% of UK citizens were registered at their current address against 61.8% of Commonwealth citizens and 53.2% of European Union citizens.
Completeness varies by ethnicity, with those identifying as White or Asian having higher levels of completeness (85.9% and 83.7% respectively) than those claiming Black (76%), Mixed (73.4%) or other (62.9%).
There is little variation in levels of completeness between social grades AB, C1 and C2 (84-87% complete). However, those classified as DE were less likely to be registered (79.6%).
Completeness varies by the number of adults living in the household. Two-person households have the highest levels of completeness (86.2%) while addresses where more than six people are resident record notably lower levels of completeness (72.8%).
There is a difference between rural and urban areas with the former recording slightly higher levels of completeness (86.8%) than the latter (84.3%).
Whether or not someone has a disability appears to be relevant to levels of completeness. Those with a physical disability (91.3%) are more likely to be registered than the general population or those with a mental disability (81.1%) or no disability (84.1%).
Attitudes towards electoral registration and voting also have an impact on the likelihood of an individual appearing on the register. Those who see registering (90.8%) and voting (90.2%) as a duty are more likely to be registered than those who think it is not worth registering (73.7%) or voting (76%).