The MRS Census and GeoDems Group (CGG) was established in 1989 and is 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 GeoDems Knowledge Base (GKB) which is a major database of geodemographic and other geodems 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 on 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 GeoDems 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.

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The Census and GeoDems Group (CGG) runs regular seminars on the latest developments and uses of Census, geodemographic and lifestyle data, and data integration in market research and related fields.

Previous CGG events:

The Future of the Census: Representation in Research - 30th June 2023

The Future of GeoDems - 29th September 2022

The Future of the Census - 8th February 2022

The History of Geodemographics: The Future of GeoDems - 28th January 2021

Geodemographics in a digital age - 2nd May 2017

Can Big Data replace the Census? What does Big Data give us now? - 7th March 2016

Harnessing Open Data for Business Advantage - 5th November 2014

Tracking a decade of changing Britain - 6th November 2013

Generating Value from the 2011 Census - 19th September 2012

2011 UK Census: Find out how it can benefit your business - 4th July 2011

2011 Census - 4th July 2011

Uses for Census Data in Market Research - 4th July 2011

Targeting for Multi-Channel Marketing - 23rd Novmber 2009

Target: 300 Million Consumers! - European Geodemographics - 1st April 2009

The Techniques of Geodemographics - 3rd November 2008

The Future of Geodemographics - 6th March 2008

Small Area Geography - Planning for the Future - 5th February 2007

Geography and People - How academic theory has evolved into business benefit - 27th November 2006

Classifying and Targeting Businesses - At any geographical level, national down to local - 12th October 2005

Classifying People by Where They Live - July 2004

Adding Value to the Census - 3rd March 2004

Achieving Value from the Census - November 2004

Using External Data in Market Research Seminar - 31st March 2003

The 2001 Census - How to benefit from the New Free Census Data - 2nd July 2003

Using External Data in Market Research - 31st March 2003


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 GeodDems 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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