Thousands of households were classed as overcrowded in Cornwall, according to figures from the 2021 census.

A campaign group has blamed overcrowding on slow rates of housebuilding and “skyrocketing” rents across England and Wales.

Figures show around 5,170 homes were judged to be overcrowded in Cornwall – 2.1 per cent of all homes in the area.

Meanwhile, 187,815 homes (75%) were classed as ‘under-occupied’ – meaning they had rooms to spare.

Overcrowding is calculated by looking at how many rooms are available in a residence and assessing whether they are adequate for the number of people living there.

The ONS’ figures show renters were more likely to live in crowded accommodation than those who own their own homes.

In Cornwall, social renters were most likely to struggle for space, with six per cent impacted.

Ben Twomey, chief executive of the campaign group Generation Rent, said a failure to build enough homes and stop “skyrocketing” rents has put private renters in a tricky situation.

“If you have children or are an older renter, being forced into an overcrowded house can be particularly stressful,” he added.

As of 2021, there were around 2,620 households with dependent children suffering from a lack of space in Cornwall.

London had a far higher rate of overcrowded housing than any other region of England and Wales. Every one of the top 10 most crowded areas was in the capital – other than Slough, in London’s commuter belt.