For over 25 years the MRS Census and Geodemographics Group (CGG) has been a leading independent voice in the geodemographics sector. Part of MRS, it exists to promote the full use of Census and geodemographic information. It works with the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and others to represent the needs of research.

On the sections above you will find details about upcoming events, resources and consultation responses available to download.

MRS CGG run the Geodemographics Knowledge Base (GKB) which is a major database of geodemographic sources. It provides a gateway into a comprehensive directory of several hundred selected websites covering the UK, Europe and many other parts of the world. Each site is checked and curated by members of the CGG and new contributions are encouraged from all users.

The GKB includes sections specifically devoted to areas of interest to the CGG. These include the CensusEurope (with links to all the national statistics agencies), Open Data and Real Time Geodemographics (the tracking of people and things in the move). New sections are added from time to time to reflect important developments in geodemographics.

How to get involved

The group encourage involvement, whether that be joining the LinkedIn network group, subscribing to bulletins via your MyMRS online account and managing your email preferences or joining the Census and Geodemographics Group itself . Please also follow the group's twitter account: @MRS_CGG

Geodemographics - blogs and resources

Visit the Geodemographics Knowledge Base (GKB) for expert blogs and links to useful sources of geodemographic data and knowledge.

Visit the website


Census Evaluation Workshop

On 8th January 2015, the ONS held an Outputs Evaluation workshop to collect feedback from users on the 2011 Census.

MRS CGG Chairman, Barry Leventhal, with input from members of the Association of Census Distributors and the Demographics User Group, presented the business sector's views on outputs from the 2011 Census. here.


The Geodemographics Knowledge Base (GKB) is an international online directory of carefully selected websites on geodemographic and geo-spatial analysis, socio-economic and demographic data sources. The site also includes articles of interest to those working in these areas and publishes an email bulletin.

The GKB Census page provides a gateway to the Census.

Social Grade

The ONS has produced census output on approximated social grade, by applying an algorithm developed by members of the MRS CGG – click here to find out more.

MRS and CGG consultation responses

The CGG advises MRS on matters relating to demographic, geographic and census information. Together, they have responded to a number of industry consultations – click here to read more.

Useful links:
UK Data Services Census Support
ONS Census News

Harmonisation is concerned with the use of standard definitions, concepts, questions and outputs. CGG have compiled a short guide on harmonisation, which gives information on standards available

Geoanalysis is the analysis of data, eg demographic or customer data, by geographical area or other form of spatial referencing. The GKB provides sources for Geoanalysis

Article: Under the Microscope by Robin Flowerdew and Barry Leventhal, based on an article in New Perspectives Magazine, September 1998. Despite their obvious success, no hard theory underlies today’s geodemographic classifications. Robin Flowerdew and Barry Leventhal put one of today’s products to the test and offer fuzzy geodemographics as a possible alternative. Read Under the Microscope

Useful links:
Lists of current geodemographic classifications, some markets that support geodemographic systems and some syndicated research sources of geodemographic profiles can be found in this document.

A report by Peter Sleight on the new generation of geodemographic classifications following the 2011 Census.

The report is based on the CGG Seminar Tracking a decade of changing Britain held on 6th November 2013.

Download Peter Sleight’s report 

The Geodemographics Knowledge Base provides information on, and links to, websites that provide geographic and demographic data sources.

The Geodemographics Knowledge Base (GKB) is an international online directory of carefully selected websites on geodemographic and geo-spatial analysis, socio-economic and demographic data sources. The site also includes articles of interest to those working in these areas and publishes an email bulletin.

Marketing and geodemographics need high quality address information for sample frames, contacting customers, and geocoding data for analysis. Therefore, there was immediate interest when the government announced in early December 2010 a joint venture between Ordnance Survey and the Local Government Group – GeoPlace – to create a definitive national address gazetteer (NAG). However, it was also immediately apparent that access to NAG as proposed would be on a hybrid free to public sector (under the Public Sector Mapping Agreement) but charged to private sector basis. Also, that GeoPlace could gain an effective monopoly in address information, which, with continuing uncertainty about the future of the Postcode Address File (PAF), raised risks of lower quality and higher costs for private sector users. MRS decided to take steps to get a better deal.

Getting the best deal on address information

Real Time Geodemographics is the study of people (or things) according to their spatial location through time. The GKB provides information on, and links to, websites about Real Time Geodemographics.

A guide to the 2001 Census

A guide to the 2001 Census. The MRS (CGG) in association with National Statistics has compiled a guide to using 2001 Census data: A Guide to the 2001 Census: Essential Information for Gaining Business Advantage. The Guide is essential reading for anyone thinking of applying Census data in the commercial and public sectors. It includes contributions from a wide range of industry experts drawn from the world of statistics, academia, business, government and international market research. It has been edited by Keith Dugmore (Demographic Decisions Ltd) and Corrine May (NOP World). Further information and order form.

Article: Social Grade Approximation for the 2001 Census. An approximate social grade (ABC1) can be obtained from Census data. Further information and advice is given in the document –read more on the Social Grade Approximation for the 2001 Census.

Article: Social Grading and the Census. Erhard Meier and Corrine Moy, International Journal of Market Research 46(2), 2004, pp141-170.

A paper discussing the algorithm used to derive social grade data (ABC1 classification) from the 2001 Census. Visit:

Article: The 2001 Census and its significance for the commercial world. Alison Green, BRC Solutions, March 2004

This is a useful article written by Alison Green (Strategic Development Manager, Sainsbury's Supermarkets Ltd) explaining the importance of the Census for commercial organisations. Read The 2001 Census and its significance for the commercial world

Report: A User's View of the 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, A User’s View of the 2001 Census, read the report and a summary of the ONS response.

Event: The 2001 Census: How to benefit from the new free Census data.

The Census and Geodemographics Group (CGG) is an MRS advisory board that recommends MRS policy in relation to geographic, demographic and census information.

As part of this role they represent the profession by responding to important consultations on behalf of MRS and their members.

CGG Consultation Responses

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