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Census data are now available at a very local level of detail. The ...
Census data are now available at a very local level of detail. The

largest amount of information about England and Wales ever released

at one time is now available free on the internet.

The Office for National Statistics has published Census

information for 8,850 electoral wards and 175,434 small local areas

in England and Wales through the ONS's Neighbourhood Statistics

Service which at the same time has been improved and enhanced.

This is the fourth main release for Census data. It enriches the

statistics put out in February and May which were produced for the

376 local authorities within England and Wales with more local

detail. The lowest level of local information in this release is

known as an 'output area'. This shows information for groups of about

125 households and is produced in a way to guarantee the

confidentiality of individuals.

Neighbourhood Statistics Service

The Neighbourhood Statistics Service was established in 2001 to

provide access to a wealth of information for every local area in the

country, using just a few mouse clicks and free to everyone. It now

combines Census data with other sources to provide neighbourhood

profiles. These are vital for local councils, community groups and

local service providers engaged in delivering the government's

National Strategy for Neighbourhood Renewal.

The upgraded Neighbourhood Statistics Service now allows internet

users to do all of the following:

- create a summary statistical profile for an area simply by typing

in a postcode or a place name;

- access 34 Census tables for all wards and 'output areas' in

England and Wales, comparing and contrasting areas across the


- access over 25 other data sources down to local authority or ward


- dynamically create and manipulate tables online - reaching

greater levels of detail, rearranging rows and columns - and then

turn these into charts, graphs or download data to a variety of


- use maps to identify and select areas for analysis. The maps show

the relationship between the areas and other features such as roads,

rivers and buildings; and

- registered users can save their favourite analyses for later use.

Neighbourhood Statistics will continue to evolve over the coming

months. New and improved features will be introduced and users will

soon be able to access thematic maps directly on the site. These are

similar to the attached maps which have been used to illustrate the

example below. More Census data will be added to the site as they are

released, along with a huge variety of other statistical and

administrative information.

The power of Neighbourhood Statistics - the summary profile

'Statistics for all'

Neighbourhood Statistics is unique in packaging a wide range of

official information about an area in a way that is relevant and

understandable by the general public. It does this by providing a

summary profile just from entering a postcode. This will give the

following information for that area:

- resident population: age, marital status, ethnicity and religion;

- health and provision of care;

- economic and educational activity and qualifications;

- housing and household information (including house price

information from the Land Registry);

- information on crime levels (from police force recorded


It also provides a handy map of the area as well as, for comparison,

averages for the wider local authority and for England and Wales.

Census results for wards and 'output areas'

Many different and contrasting local pictures can be drawn from

Census data on Neighbourhood Statistics. Averages can often obscure

the diversity that exists when a closer look is taken at a greater

level of detail. Contrasts within a single local authority district

can often be bigger than between local aut hority districts themselves

or regions of the country.

Such is the quantity of information now available that just one

example is provided to illustrate some of this diversity.

Example of local diversity - Private renting

Huntingdonshire in the East and Hartlepool in the north-east have

very similar proportions of households that are rented from a private

landlord - 7.5 per cent and 7.4 per cent respectively.

These two local authorities also have proportions close to the

England and Wales median value for this characteristic and so, on the

surface, might be thought of as quite alike in this respect. But at

ward level within these authorities, the picture is very different.

The lowest proportion of households rented from a private landlord in

Huntingdonshire is 4.1 per cent in St Neots Eaton Socon ward, and in

only one ward are more than 12 per cent of houses rented from a

private landlord - 15.1 per cent in Huntingdon West.

However, in Hartlepool the percentage of households rented from a

private landlord varies from 2.0 per cent in Park ward on the western

side of Hartlepool to 28.2 per cent in Jackson ward on the north side

of the town centre. The three wards with the next lowest proportion

of households rented from private landlords are Fens with 2.4 per

cent, Rossmere with 2.6 per cent and Throston with 2.8 per cent.

At the other end of the scale the wards with the next highest

proportions to Jackson of households rented from private landlords

are also urban wards - Brinkburn at 15.2 per cent and Stranton at

14.0 per cent.


Strict measures are taken so that published statistics, even at small

local area level, do not reveal any information about identifiable

individuals or households. Tables are checked before publication and

minor adjustments may be made to the results for very small

populations to protect confidentiality of individuals.

Background Notes

1. The new statistics in this release look at the responses to Census

questions in a single dimension. These are known as 'Key Statistics'.

The majority do not provide cross-referencing between the various

questions. The cross-referenced data, known as 'Standard Tables' will

be released for small local areas later this year.

2. The small local areas referred to as 'output areas' in technical

Census information are used as 'building blocks', which can be

compiled into information for different areas with different

boundaries such as wards, civil parishes or health authority areas.

An 'output area' typically consists of about 125 households and has a

minimum threshold of 100 persons and 40 households.

3. These Key Statistics to ward level are also available on a CD

available from the TSO priced £25. The CD provides SuperTABLE

software to support the access and manipulation of the data. A DVD is

also available from Census Customer Services which has less

user-friendly functionality but provides information down to the

lower 'output area' level.

4. National Statistics Online's new enhanced Neighbourhood Statistics

Service went live hereon 30 June.

5. Details of the National Statistics policy governing the release of

new data are available from the press office. Also available is a

list of the names of those given pre-publication access to the

contents of this release.

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