Little Houghton was previously the site of two large coal mines. Houghton Main was a deep shaft mine and Dearne Valley a drift mine. Both mines are now closed and their sites have been landscaped, which has been partly funded by money from the European Union. Before the coal mines, the village was involved in agriculture and there were a number of farms in the village with associated cottages. Only two of the old farm buildings remain, but some have recently been converted into housing.
The two settlements come under Little Houghton Parish Council.