GKB: Geodemographics Knowledge Base
2011 Area Classification for Output Areas

ONS has released a new 2011 Area Classification for Output Areas (2011 OAC), produced by University College London on behalf of ONS. With this three-tier classification, the release includes, cluster codes and names for the 8 supergroups, 26 groups and 76 subgroups in the classification for all UK output areas, together with supporting material, including a map for the supergroups and groups, a methodology note, pen portraits describing each of the supergroups/groups/subgroups, and radial plots showing the value of 60 Census variables used to produce the OAC.

2011 Census - Office for National Statistics

Gateway page to ONS information on 2011.

2011 Census area classifications

This page from the ONS website provides information on the area classifications derived from 2011 Census data.

2011 Census Flow Data

Origin-destination data (also known as flow data) includes the travel-to-work and migration patterns of individuals, cross-tabulated by variables of interest (for example occupation).

2011 Census, Key Statistics and Quick Statistics for Wards and Output Areas in England and Wales

This release contains detailed geographical breakdowns and detailed Quick Statistics tables for residents' characteristics.

2011 Census, Key Statistics for national parks and Key and Quick Statistics for health areas and postcode sectors in England and Wales

The statistics in this release are a new presentation of the data released as part of the Key Statistics and Quick Statistics for output areas in England and Wales that were published 30 January 2013. They provide new best fit aggregations of these statistics for health administration areas and postcode sectors in England and Wales, and also for National Assembly for Wales constituencies and Assembly for Wales electoral regions. The estimates are best-fitted from output areas in line with the Geography Policy for National Statistics.

2011 Census: Key and Quick Statistics tables for the United Kingdom now available from Nomis

The Key and Quick Statistics tables for the United Kingdom bring together data from the 2011 Censuses conducted in England and Wales, in Scotland, and in Northern Ireland, to provide UK harmonised data for areas throughout the United Kingdom. These UK tables were released by ONS in 2014 as downloadable files, and have now been added to the wide range of Census data available through nomis

2011 UK Census Geography Project Publications

The latest reports and presentations can be downloaded from here:

2019 Census Rehearsal: collection evaluation report for England and Wales

ONS has published (2 October 2020) a summary of its evaluation of the 2019 Collection Rehearsal for the 2021 Census in England and Wales. It details the main findings and lessons learned that we will be carrying forward to the main Census in 2021 from both the collection rehearsal (which covered households and communal establishments), and the Census Coverage Survey (CCS) rehearsal that immediately followed it.

2021 Census Output update (England and Wales)

ONS has published (1 February 2021) two reports updating users on its progress towards the production of 2021 Census outputs:

National Statistics accreditation for the 2021 Census (January 2021 update) www.ons.gov.uk/census/nationalstatisticsaccreditation
The report provides a response to the Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR) findings and further evidence of how ONS is complying with the Code of Practice for Statistics.

Conduct of the Censuses in the UK: November 2020 progress update www.ons.gov.uk/census/legislationandpolicy
The report provides progress on the statement of agreement between the National Statistician and the Registrars General for Scotland and Northern Ireland on the conduct of the 2021 censuses in the UK.

2021 Census Question development

ONS has published (January 2021) the final report in its series of question development reports for the 2021 Census. There are reports available on a range of topics.

Administrative Data Census Project

ONS continues to investigate the feasibility of moving to a census based on administrative data after 2021. Learn about progress and ONS’s research outputs by visiting the census transformation website

AMSR: 1961-2011 Census products 50 years apart

The AMSR (Archive of Market and Social Research) have recently added several 1961 Census reports, showing how census results were published in those days, and a much more recent presentation explaining the Classification of Workplace Zones from the 2011 Census.

Beyond 2011 Programme: new publications for February 2013

A series of paper published by ONS as part of the Beyond 2011 programme.

Census 2021 outputs consultation, 19 July 2021

On 13 July 2021, the Office for National Statistics launched a public consultation outlining our proposals for the content design and shape of the release plans for Census 2021 outputs.

Census 2021 outputs: content design and release phase proposals - Part One

In summer 2021, ONS ran a public consultation on their?proposals for the content design and release of Census 2021 data and analysis, for England and Wales.

312 individuals and organisations took part, including MRS (See our response here). Respondents shared their views on the proposals to release census data in a phased approach and the analysis they plan to conduct to draw insights from that data. The consultation covered all phases of the Census 2021 outputs release schedule, including:

  • Phase one: population estimates cross tabulated by age and sex, household estimates, and other univariate data published as part of topic summaries or area profiles

  • Phase two: multivariate data for the usual resident, household, and communal establishment population bases

  • Phase three: alternative population bases, small populations, origin-destination and microdata

  • Beyond 2023: UK data, and more complex analysis

ONS have published part one of their response to the consultation feedback. In it, they share about the feedback respondents gave about the phase one proposals. In response to this feedback, they also discuss which proposals they are changing or considering further.

Census 2021 outputs: content design and release phase proposals - Part Two

ONS have published part two of their response to the feedback they received during the Census 2021 outputs consultation that took place in summer 2021.  In the consultation, they asked users for feedback on their proposals for the content design and release of Census 2021 data and analysis for England and Wales.   

In this second and final report, they focus on feedback about their phase two, phase three and beyond 2023 proposals. In response to this feedback, they also discuss which proposals they are changing or considering further.

Census 2021 – the count is done, the data is in, so what happens next? 18 October 2021

The Census 2021 collection operation was a fantastic success with more than 97% of households in England and Wales completing their questionnaire to make sure they are represented when it comes to provision for local services. But just as big a challenge is turning the information you have provided into statistics we can all use. Ed Dunn (Deputy Director at the ONS and Head of Census Data Transformation Division) explains what is happening now and when the results will be available.

Census Flow data

The UK Data Service home page for census flow data. Census flow data (also known as interaction data) relate to the movement of people between places. These can be regular short distance moves such as the daily commute to work, or less frequent - and sometimes longer distance - moves such as migration to a new home or an extended stay in a second address.

Flow data differ from other Census data in that they link two locations - an origin and a destination. With two geographies, flow datasets can be much larger than other Census data products."

Census Information Gateway - UK Data Service

The home page for the UK Data Service Census Support. The site contains information on a huge range of census-related issues.

Census News for Scotland

On-line access to the latest census news released by the General Register Office for Scotland.

Census News, ONS

On-line access to the latest census news released by the Office for National Statistics.

Census Order and Regulations for England and Wales

The legislation to hold the 2021 Census in England and Wales on 21 March 2021 was approved by Parliament last summer. The Census (England and Wales) Order, which sets the date of the census and the particulars to be collected became laws 20 May 2020 following debates and votes in both Houses of Parliament. The Census Regulations subsequently came into force on 23 June 2020 in England and 26 June in Wales. The Regulations include many of the operational details of the census, as well as exact copies of the paper questionnaires and descriptions of the online questionnaires.

Census Transformation Programme consultations

This page provides links to the consultations that have taken place on the 2021 Census.

Census unearthed: explore 50 years of change from 1961, 9 August 2021

Between January and May this year, we released the 1961 Census Small Area Statistics (SAS). The Census Historical Research team has been exploring the data by comparing it with the 2011 Census. This has allowed us to see just how much society has changed in the intervening 50 years. We’re pleased to let you know that the result of this investigation is now available. We've included some interactive maps so that you can explore the data for local areas.

Digital Release of 1921 Census Tables

As part of the ongoing Historical Census Digitisation Project, The Office for National Statistics, working in partnership with the University of Salford Pattern Recognition and Image Analysis lab (PRImA) and Nomis, have produced the next batch of digitised statistical outputs which are now available to explore and download via Nomis.

This release is focused on tables from the 1921 Census and covers topics including age, sex, orphanhood, and marital status. For the first time searchable, digital versions of the 1921 tables have been created, capturing a key point in our history post First World War One and the Spanish flu pandemic. The tables can be accessed and downloaded via the Nomis website

This is the first batch of several releases focused on 1921, with more being added once they are complete.

Digital release of the 1961 Census Small Area Statistics

The Census Historical Data Support (CHDS) Team has embarked on a series of projects to digitise historical census outputs and make them publicly available. The first of these ‘statistical archaeology’ projects is focused on the 1961 Census Small Area Statistics (SAS). The 1961 SAS tables have been split into three types and have been released as a Beta in three stages. The first stage focuses on tables related to the 100% sample and was published on 28 Janaury 2021 and is available to view via Nomis.

The second stage of the 1961 SAS release focuses on tables related to the 10% sample and is now available on Nomis (published April 2021). 

The final stage of the 1961 SAS beta release, the remaining 100% sample tables, is also now available (published May 2021). Please see the ONS website for more information about the 1961 SAS digitisation project and how to access the data.


Gaining National Statistics accreditation for Census 2021 outputs, 25 November 2021

The census is one of the most important sources of data and statistics that can help answer some of the most pressing questions facing society today. The Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR) has now published its assessment of Census 2021 highlighting the successful collection operation and what still needs to be done for the results to gain National Statistics accreditation.  

Household Reference Person

The concept of a Household Reference Person (HRP) was introduced in the 2001 Census (in common with other government surveys in 2001/2) to replace the traditional concept of the 'head of the household'. HRPs provide an individual person within a household to act as a reference point for producing further derived statistics and for characterising a whole household according to characteristics of the chosen reference person.

Impact of COVID-19

ONS has published a statement (22 January 2021 ) on how it is ensuring that everyone can be safely counted in in the 2021 Census within the context of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

National Statistics

The official UK government site for UK statistics and research

New look Census Website

The ONS site for the 2011 Census, containing links to all aspects of 2011.

New ONS website launched

The Office for National Statistics is the UK's largest independent producer of official statistics, covering the UK's economy, society and population, including the UK Census. It is the recognised UK National Statistical Institute.The new complete redesigned ONS website has been launched, following extensive feedback from the July 2015 Beta version. The search and navigation tools have been significantly improved, as has the overall performance and general appearance. Nearly 150,000 redirects enable users to find existing content and much of the older content that has been moved to the National ArchivesONS is retaining a full time team to regularly maintain and enhance the website. More about development of the new website is available in the Digital Publishing Blog.


The official website of the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency. The site contains plans for the 2021 Census, details about the 2011 Census and earlier censuses.

ONS blog - Population and social statistics in a rapidly changing world, 13 July 2021

The response to the coronavirus pandemic has been driven by data. Never before have statistics been so crucial in informing decisions that affect us all. Pete Benton explains how the ONS will be maximising the value of the data collected from Census 2021 and how it aims to provide ever more timely statistics moving forwards.

ONS Census 2021 Output Geography Policy Consultation Response

ONS invited views on their proposed Census 2021 Output Geography Policy, and their plans for geography products and services. The consultation took place from 5 November 2020 to 18 December 2020 and the response is published above.

ONS response to public consultation – Initial View on 2021 Census Output Content Design

ONS invited views on their initial proposed design of 2021 Census outputs and the dissemination channels for England and Wales.

The consultation covered all aspects of 2021 Census outputs. This included their plans for a flexible dissemination system to access the majority of census data, and the approach for statistical disclosure control for 2021 Census outputs. They also informed users of the plans for specialist products (including microdata and origin-destination products), geography and the use of administrative data to improve and supplement outputs.

They consulted with users to:

obtain feedback on the proposed design and method of dissemination for 2021 Census data
help them prioritise our future research and development of 2021 Census outputs
inform the order in which they release products after 2021 Census
understand user requirements for a variety of census products

Operational planning response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) for the 2021 Census, England and Wales

ONS has published (2 October 2020) the potential impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the operational plans for the 2021 Census and the design changes and contingency plans made in response.

Plans for the 2022 Census in Scotland

National Records for Scotland (NRS) continues its planning for Scotland’s next Census which has now been postponed until 2022 as a result of the COVID pandemic. It will build on the success of the census in 2011 and will be designed and managed in Scotland, to best meet the needs of its users. It will be conducted primarily online, while offering support and alternative routes of completion where required. It will aim to make best use of technology, digital services and other existing data to support the census process. For the latest news and updates visit the 2022 Census website linked above.

Publication of 2011 Census Key Statistics for Local Authorities in England and Wales

ONS have published Key Statistics for local authorities in England and Wales from the 2011 Census. This release marks the beginning of the release of detailed information about the characteristics of the people living in England and Wales on 27 March 2011. The data can be accessed from here:

Publication of 2011 Census population and household estimates for the United Kingdom

A report on the population estimates of the UK by age and sex, from the 2011 Census

Scotland's Census 2022 – Topic Consultation Report

National Records of Scotland are planning to carry out a census in March 2022. This website provides the design and plans for the operation.

Scotland’s Census Website

Please see the official website of National Records Scotland. This organisation is planning the 2021 Census in Scotland. 

Social Grade Approximation for the 2011 Census

Social Grade is the 'common currency' social classification (the 'ABC1' system) used by the advertising industry and employed throughout marketing and market research. This site provides details of the new approximation to Social Grade available in the outputs from the 2011 Census. A report is available which describes the development of the algorithm and accuracy achieved, and evaluates the discriminatory power of the approximation in comparison with ‘true’ Social Grade. 

Statistical Design for the 2021 Census, England and Wales

The ONS has published (2 October 2020) its end-to-end statistical design to ensure 2021 Census results are of high quality and are fit for purpose

The 2021 Census in Northern Ireland

Information on the planning for the 2021 Census in Northern Ireland, including the consultation programme, latest news and events, can be found at the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) census website linked above. In particular, NISRA has recently published two assessment reports relating to the 2021 Census: 2021 Census Quality Assurance Strategy https://www.nisra.gov.uk/publications/2021-census-quality-assurance-strategy This report (21 January 2021) outlines the quality assurance work that will be undertaken by NISRA to ensure that the outputs released from the 2021 Census are robust, reliable and meet the needs of users. NISRA report for Phase 2 of Census 2021 National Statistics assessment https://www.nisra.gov.uk/publications/nisra-report-phase-2-census-2021-national-statistics-assessment This report (28 January 20212) provides an update on NISRA’s progress to gain National Statistics accreditation, as part of Phase 2 of the Census 2021 National Statistics assessment.

The 2021 Census of Population and Housing in England and Wales - White Paper

The UK Statistics Authority has made its recommendations on the content and conduct of the 2021 Census. The census is planned to take place on 21 March 2021. A White Paper was published on Friday 14 December 2018.

The Conduct of the 2021 and 2022 Censuses in the UK

ONS has published (28 January 2021) a report following the announcement of Scotland's Census move to 2022 and is a statement of agreement between the National Statistician and the Registrars General for Scotland and Northern Ireland, aiming to enhance the extent of harmonisation that takes place across the UK Censuses in 2021 and 2022.

UNECE Expert Group Meetings on International Censuses

UNECE is one of five regional commissions of the United Nations. It holds annual workshops and expert meetings on international censuses and aspects of data collection.

User Group for 2021/22 UK Census Data

ONS is forming a User Group for 2021/22 UK Census Data to best understand user needs and to gather ongoing feedback on its output plans, and particularly in recognition that the provision of UK census data will be more challenging than ever in light of the different census years within the UK. The User Group will be run predominantly by correspondence.

Using administrative data to measure levels of overcrowding in the 2021 Census

This article overviews research into the use of Valuation Office Agency (VOA) data for estimating the number of rooms in the 2021 Census, and for measuring overcrowding.

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