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ONS Census 2021 Output Geography Policy, Products and Services

As Census 2021 is approaching, ONS is finalising plans for the dissemination of Census statistics and have a proposed Census geography policy.


This geography policy focusses largely on our plans for maintaining small area geographies – Output Areas, Lower Layer Super Output Areas, and Middle Layer Super Output Areas. We are also setting out plans for producing geography products and services. We would like to give census users an opportunity to comment on our plans through this consultation exercise.

Why we are Consulting

We are planning to produce a range of geography products and services to support the dissemination of Census statistics. The proposed Census output geography policy, and our plans for geography products and services are set out in the accompanying consultation document (below) for which user views and comments are welcomed as this will help us to finalise our thinking and plans.

As part of the Census geography policy, the consultation document sets out several options for producing outputs for wards and parishes which we have considered, to see if quality improvements to Census statistics for wards and parishes can be made. We are now recommending a refinement to the Output Area Best-Fit approach for producing ward and parish Census statistics for which user views and comments are welcomed.

Please note that this consultation covers Census plans for England and Wales only, though as part of this consultation we are also interested in any user requirements for the creation of a comparable small area geography work across the whole of the UK for Census dissemination.

Thank you for your interest in this consultation exercise, your views are important to us. ONS shall be publishing a response document when the consultation closes to summarise the responses received.

Give your view by clicking here for the Online Survey

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