First Drafted 2006-02-09, Last Changed 2006-02-14, Version 1.1.3.

Producing a Better 2001 UK Population Census Output Area table with Population and Household Counts for the UK

Oliver Duke-Williams and Andy Turner

Desire for a 2001 UK Population Census Output Area table with Exact Population and Household Counts

Work on MoSeS has involved aggregating 2001 UK Population Census (01UKPC) Output Area (OA) data to Ward level for Leeds Local Authority District. Due to the application of a Small Cell Adjustment Method (SCAM), the populations and household counts for OAs do not add up to those at Ward level for the same 01UKPC variables (ONS, 2005a). In general the application of the SCAM means that counts aggregated from smaller spatial resolutions are likely to be smaller although the mismatch varies depending on the 01UKPC Table, the region being examined (variable counts), and the application of other Disclosure Control/Protection Measures (ONS, 2005a).

For many reasons it would be useful to have a single count for the number of people and the number of households at OA level that is exact. Alas there is no 01UKPC Table that can provide this, and it is likely that the best that can be done is an estimate. This page is to organise collaboration on producing estimates. How best to proceed?


Oliver Duke-Williams and Andy Turner first met on 2006-02-09 to discuss this issue.

John Parsons expressed an interest on 2006-02-10 and commented that a UK dataset would be of wide general use. He would be a user and potentially interested in collaborating on this work.

Phil Rees , Paul Norman , Ludi Simpson and John Stillwell may also be interested in collaborating? Any others?


Further Research

Population and address counts are variables in the All Fields Postcode Directory and in something called the postcode headcount file (Rees et al., 2005). These data offers a means of comparison. What else is there?

A count of communal establishments broken down by type and of vacant households might also be useful.

Supposing a set of population and household counts can be produced at OA level, what else can be done to reduce the errors and uncertainites that have arisen from the application of SCAM?

Miscellaneous Notes

The details of the SCAM were not formally disclosed, but it is believed that the same method was used by both ONS and NISRA.

For the (OA level) STS Level 3, which relates to Scotland, SCAM _was_ used. This may well be the only case of it's use in Scotland.

SWS Level 3 were not produced for Northern Ireland due to disclosure fears.



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