GKB: Geodemographics Knowledge Base
2001 Census - Office for National Statistics

Gateway page to ONS information on 2001.

2001 Census and its Significance for the Commercial World, The

Download an article by Alison Green of Sainsbury's that explains the importance of the Census for commercial organisations, especially those in the retail sector with large branch networks.

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 England and Wales: Detailed Characteristics on qualifications for Middle Layer Super Output Areas (MSOAs), Regional level, Merged Wards and Merged Local Authorities - Release 3.5b

On 19th December 2013, ONS published 35 Detailed Characteristic tables which covers the topic of qualifications, cross-tabulated with one or more other topics from the census. There are 11 tables produced at MSOA level, 11 tables at merged ward level, 9 tables at merged local authority level and 4 tables at regional level. All tables are available from the Nomis website and can be accessed at:

2011 Census England and Wales: Labour Market Detailed Characteristic Tables

On 29th November 2013, ONS published Detailed Characteristic tables covering the topics of Labour Market, cross-tabulated with one or more other topics from the census. Tables are provided for 2011 Census Merged Wards and Middle Layer Super Output Areas (MSOAs) in England and Wales. There are 35 Detailed Characteristic tables in this release: 28 tables produced at both MSOA, 2011 Census Merged Ward Level, and 7 tables at Merged Local Authority level. 2 tables (DC6210 and DC6215) have been withdrawn from this release. On a final statistical disclosure control inspection there were disclosure issues and revised versions are being considered for inclusion in a later release. All tables are available from the Nomis website and can be accessed at:

2011 Census Flow Data

Origin-destination data (also known as flow data) is to be published by ONS. It will include the travel-to-work and migration patterns of individuals, cross-tabulated by variables of interest (for example occupation). New products for the 2011 Census will also provide the migration patterns of those living at a student address one year ago and provide information on individuals with second residences.

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

This release follows on from that of the Key Statistics on 11 December 2012 and contains new detailed tables for some characteristics of the people living in England and Wales on 27 March 2011. Statistics available from this release include main language, method of travel to work and economic activity of students. Interactive data visualisations are also available to aid interpretation and users can enter postcodes into the interactive maps to focus on specific areas.

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

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2011 Microdata Plans

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has shared plans to produce four microdata files from the 2011 Census. An updated ONS output prospectus which includes timescales for census microdata is forthcoming. The first edition of these files will be limited to England and Wales, but it is hoped that a second edition will be UK wide. This link provides details of all the proposed files as well as references to the consultation on Microdata.

2011 UK Census - First Results Released

The first results from the 2011 Census were made available on Monday 16th July. See the link below for access to the household and population estimates and supporting information.

2011 UK Census Geography Outputs Consultation

The Office for National Statistics has launched a consultation on the final geography policy for the 2011 Census outputs. The consultation will run until the 29th April and invites users to comment on the policy, the proposed set of geographic products and the outcome of the 2010 Census Output Geography consultation.

2011 UK Census Geography Project Publications

The latest reports and presentations can be downloaded from here:

2011 UK Census Latest News

The latest news on the 2011 Census from the ONS is available on the National Statistics website:

2011 UK Census Main Statistical Outputs Consultation

This second phase of consultation on outputs is an important part of the Office for National Statistics' preparation for the 2011 Census in England and Wales. Submissions are to be received by 29th April 2011. Under the same link you will also find slides from the Census Outputs User Events which took place around the country between February 14th and 25th.

2011 UK Census outputs consultation

The UK Census offices (ONS, GROS, and NISRA) invite you to participate in a 2011 Census output consultation through response to an online survey. The consultation is open from 25 February 2008 for 12 weeks. It aims to find out what users of the 2011 Census want from the data they gather.

A User's View of the 2001 Census

In February 2005, the MRS Census and Geodemographics Group and the Association of Census Distributors (ACD) submitted a report to the Office for National Statistics entitled A User's View of the 2001 Census. The report and the ONS response can be read on the CGG pages of the MRS 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.

Census 2022: Transforming Small Area Socio-Economic Indicators through 'Big Data'

The project will address these questions using existing large-scale geo-coded transactional datasets, including household level energy monitoring data, held at the University of Southampton.

Census In Wales

Responsibility for making Census Regulations with respect to the Census in Wales has recently been transferred from the Chancellor of the Exchequer to the National Assembly for Wales, following Parliamentary approval in December 2006.

Census News - Geography consultation results and plans

A report with the results of the National Statistics Consultation on Small Area Geographies (for England and Wales) has been published. The consultation ran 15 November 2006 to 21 February 2007 and the report includes results and analysis of the consultation including a clear statement on the approach to geography to be used for the 2011 Census.

The report can be viewed or downloaded at:

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 of Population: 2000 and Beyond - A Conference at the Cathie Marsh Centre

The website of a conference held in June 2000 at the Cathie Marsh Centre for Census and Survey Research at the University of Manchester. Included on the site are full versions of the 15 conference papers available for downloading. The papers represent some of the latest research in the field, covering topics such as Experian's FIZZ system and the ONS's 2001 Census data dissemination strategies.

Census outputs online consultation and blog - second phase

18 December -The online Census Output consultation is back with a new website and blog with the aim to publish results and analysis of the online survey, provide commentary and Census views on the findings and provide specific user feedback to Census views. As well as the blog and forum, users will be able to edit and contribute new content as part of the Census Output wiki.

Consultation report on ethnicity, national identity, language and religion for the 2011 Census

The findings from the consultation on user needs for ethnicity, national identity, language and religion information from the 2011 Census in England and Wales, which took place between December 2006 and March 2007 have been published in five reports.

Date for 2011 UK Census announced

28 March - 27 March 2011 has been chosen as the planned date of the next Census in England and Wales. A rehearsal for the 2011 Census will be carried out in 2009, and three rehearsal areas have also been announced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Joint reporting on demographic statistics

26 February - New measures to improve the way in which existing population and migration statistics are reported across government are introduced today, with the simultaneous publication of a range of demographic data by the ONS and the Home Office. The new initiative aims to ensure that related demographic data from different government departments are presented in a coordinated manner on a limited number of dates throughout the year.

Latest issue of Population Trends

4 June - As planning for the 2011 Census gathers pace, the latest issue of the National Statistics' Population Trends outlines the proposed strategy for coverage assessment and adjustment for the 2011 Census.

National Statistics

Maintained by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), this site includes some of the latest official UK statistics, regular updates on the progress of the 2001 census, access to up-to-date Governmental publications, and updates on UK economic indicators. It also incorporates the StatBase and DataBank databases. The former gives free access to a large selection of Government statistics, while the latter is a subscription service.

New look Census Website

Pages relating to the 2011 Census have been added to the new look ONS Census site. New information includes a set of definitions to be used in the 2007 Census Test.

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.

NISRA - 2001 Census of Population

The official website of the 2001 Census in Northern Ireland. The site contains details about the 1997 Census Test, the 1999 Census Rehearsal and the consultation that has taken place so far.

Northern Ireland Census Test 2007

The Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) is planning the first major field test for the next census to take place on 13 May 2007.

ONS Census 2021 Rehearsal Areas

In autumn 2019, Office for National Statistics (ONS) will hold a rehearsal for the 2021 Census in four different local authority areas of England and Wales. It’s important to rehearse the census operation to ensure that all processes run smoothly and to confirm that statistical and operational design and communications strategy will enable ONS to meet quality targets for the 2021 Census.
See the criteria for selection here.

ONS Data Collection and Census Transformation Programme: Admin-Based Income Statistics

One of the aims of the ONS Data collection and Census Transformation Programme is to assess whether the government stated ambition that "censuses after 2021 will be conducted using other sources of data" can be met. They are aiming to produce population estimates, household estimates and population and housing characteristics using a combination of administrative and survey data. This is to meet demands for improved population statistics and as a possible alternative to the census.
They have published their experimental admin-based income statistics (ABIS) here.

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

ONS Survey on benefits gained from Census data

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) would like to evaluate the benefits to the commercial sector gained from census data and develop the case for continued production of the small area data. They are keen to hear from anybody working in the commercial sector about their use of census data.  The survey is available for completion online www.surveymonkey.com/s/DJ5RBGB or alternatively you can complete it via a Word document, available from the benefits realisation team.  If you have any comments on the survey or if you would like to tell ONS about your use of census data in an alternative way, please get in touch with the 2011 Census benefits realisation team at: benefits.realisation@ons.gsi.gov.uk  If you or your company has derived benefit from analysing census data, then please ensure you complete the survey or contact the benefits realisation team.

ONS UK Census Outputs Consultation News Update

Following discussions with Northern Ireland and Scotland, the health categories for outputs on general health will be reported to reflect the response categories as they appeared in the 2011 Census questionnaire. These categories are "Very good", "Good", "Fair", "Bad" and "Very Bad".

Preparing for the next Census in Scotland

The Registrar General for Scotland has issued a consultation document about its preparations for the next Census in Scotland. The consultation document is available form the Registrar General's website, the consultation period runs to 7 June.

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 at output area and ward level for England and Wales

ONS have published population and household estimates at output area and ward level for England and Wales, (unrounded, five year age bands by sex). Previously, this information was published at local authority level. The publication of this data completes the first release of census information. The release is available on the ONS website at:

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

In this release you will find the statistical bulletin and reference tables

Publication of 2011 Census second address estimates for local authorities

ONS have published the number of people with second addresses in local authorities in England and Wales from the 2011 Census. This release provides the number of usual residents in England and Wales who reported having a second address outside of the local authority in which they were usually resident.  The release includes two separate tables which provide, down to local authority level:  - the number of people who spend more than 30 days a year at a second address in a local authority where they do not usually live, and  - the number of people usually resident in each local authority who had a second address elsewhere.  Two further tables provide similar figures at regional level.  The data can be accessed from here:

Publication of 2011 Census unrounded population and household estimates released

ONS published the first unrounded results from the 2011 Census of Population for England and Wales on 24th September. The release covers the population estimates first published 16 July in the '2011 Census: Population and household estimates for England and Wales' which were rounded to 100, but with the additional detail of single year of age by sex at local authority level. The mid-2011 population estimates due to be published on 25 September are based on these unrounded 2011 Census estimates. A detailed examination of the differences between the census and mid-2011 population estimates will accompany the mid-year population estimates. Further results from the 2011 Census will be released later in the year, information is available in the 2011 Census Output Prospectus.

Publication of detailed ethnic group Quick Statistics table

This 2011 Census release provides tables with detailed information on the ethnic group of the usual resident population of England and Wales as at census day, 27 March 2011.

Scotland moves 2011 census online

The Public are to be given an internet option when filling in the country's next population survey in 2011. Residents in West Edinburgh, Lewis and Harris will be the first in the UK to test the new option when they take part in the 2009 census rehearsal.

Scotland's Census 2021 – Topic Consultation Report

The Registrar General for Scotland has published Scotland's Census 2021 – Topic Consultation Report on 15 August 2016 and it is available from the Scotland's Census website. The success of the 2021 census relies on a comprehensive understanding of user needs and concerns, as well as the support and participation of the general public. 

Small Populations and Origin Destination workshop materials

ONS held specialist workshops on Small populations and Origin Destination in October 2011. The materials from the workshops have been published on the ONS website.

Social Grade Approximation for the 2001 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 2001 Census. Results produced using the Social Grade algorithm are similar to other sources of information for people aged 16-64, but show differences from other sources for those aged 65 and above. A document is available for download in PDF format which demonstrates the extent of the similarities and differences and explains the likely causes.

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 2021 Census – Initial view on content for England and Wales

This paper provides the initial view of the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on the content of the 2021 Census questionnaire for England and Wales. It forms the starting point of consultation on the topics and sub-topics to be included. The initial view is informed by evaluation of the success of the 2011 topics and questions, as well as evidence about user requirements from recent consultations for Beyond 2011. It is also informed by ONS's current understanding of affordability and by its aspirations for using administrative data.

The Census: Now and in the Future

What is the value and viability of the UK Census? What happens if there isn't a Census in 2021? On 26 June at the LGA the SRA's Summer event, 'The Census: Now and in the Future' will examine this issue from a variety of expert perspectives.

The Centre for Interaction Data Estimation and Research

The Centre for Interaction Data Estimation and Research (CIDER) is funded by the ESRC and has an online interface for extracting data on migration and commuting flows from the 1981, 1991 and 2001 Censuses of Population. Registered academic users of census data can extract and download flow data using the query interface known as WICID.

The National Classification of Census Output Areas

The National Classification of Census Output Areas is a three tier hierarchy which was created from Census variables, and classifies every output area in the UK based on its value for those variables. This site is designed to give users access to the classification, and information about its creation and additional information to aid use.

This is Ireland, Part 2 - Highlights from Ireland's 2011 Census

This report, which is the second of two summary publications presenting the results of Ireland's 2011 census, examines social and economic topics such as employment, occupations, education and skills and health related issues.

Too soon to scrap the Census

This report is on the inquiry by House of Commons Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) into the future of the census. It follows the publication by ONS of the recommendations of the National Statistician after a national consultation. The Inquiry agrees that the decennial census should be kept.
Witnesses emphasised, among other things, the great financial benefits to business provided by census data and these have been quantified. The Committee recommends that the ONS now scope and set out a more ambitious vision for the creative and full use of administrative data to provide rich and valuable population statistics, which could potentially be more accurate and up-to-date than the census, and cover new topics. It also recommends that the Government now embark upon a public information campaign to communicate the benefits of increased data sharing for statistical purposes, and the safeguards which will be in place to protect people’s personal information and privacy. The report includes formal minutes of the proceedings.

Too soon to scrap the Census: Government and UK Statistics Authority Responses - Public Administration Committee

This gives the letter from The Rt Hon Francis Maude MP, Minister for the Cabinet Office, to Bernard Jenkin MP, Chair of PASC, dated 18 July 2014. It states that the Government welcomes the Committee's report and responds in detail to each of the report’s recommendations.

Too soon to scrap the Census: Government and UK Statistics Authority Responses - Public Administration Committee Second Special Report 

The Public Administration Select Committee reported to the House on Too soon to scrap the Census in its Fifteenth Report of Session 2013-14, published on 17 April 2014. The Government Response was received on 18 July 2014 and is published in this report as Appendix 1. The UK Statistics Authority's Response was received on 21 July 2014 and is published in this Report as Appendix 2.

Here you can browse the report which was ordered by the House of Commons: 

UK Output Area Classification

A joint project has been set up between ONS and University College London to develop a new UK Output Area Classification, for which they are seeking your views and thoughts. The new Output Area Classification is planned to be created using 2011 Census data, when available, and is relevant to anyone interested in social area classifications, encompassing geodemographics and neighbourhood classifications.

A user engagement exercise began on 17 February 2012 and runs until 30 March 2012. For further information, and details on how to respond to this user engagement exercise, please see the ONS webpage for User Engagement on a new United Kingdom Output Area Classification:

Alternatively you can download the User Engagement form direct from here: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/guide-method/geography/products/area-classifications/ns-area-classifications/new-uk-output-area-classification/user-engagement-on-a-new-united-kingdom-output-area-classification-consultation-document.doc

If you would like to see some of the initial work that has been undertaken by Chris Gale, a UCL research student whose PhD is focussing on creating this new Output Area Classification, then please click here:

UNECE Expert Groupmeeting on International Censuses in Geneva

UNECE is one of five regional commissions of the United Nations. They recently held a UNECE Expert Group meeting on International Censuses in Geneva. Please find a link below to the papers and presentations as well as a  formal report summarising the main issues discussed.

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