More than 1.6m people who are on housing benefit live in the private rented sector.
The statistic emerged in the answer to a question asked by Labour MP Ian Mearns of the Department for Work and Pensions.
The exact figure is 1,645,730.
That compares with 3,382,870 for the number of people on housing benefit who live in the social rented sector.
More young people on housing benefit, however, are in the private rented sector than the social sector. The number of under-25s in the private sector is 182,120, compared with 94,280 in the social sector.
David Cameron has suggested cutting housing benefit for under-25s, saving almost £2bn a year.