2011 Census Output Prospectus


Today ONS released the 2011 Census Prospectus which sets out the release plans for the 2011 Census statistics. Although ONS are responsible for disseminating UK Census statistics, both Scotland and Northern Ireland will be releasing their own prospectuses in April. The prospectus has been produced as a series of separate web pages and two other key documents:

1) Prospectus table and schedule (.xls) – contains a summary of what tables will be released and when

2) Changes to tables since the 2011 output consultation (.xls) – describes the changes to table layouts and their geographical level of availability since the last consultation exercise

In summary, there will be 4 releases of data between July 2012 and October 2013, these will be followed by subsequent releases relating to migration, workplace, flow data, small population groups, alternative population bases and microdata.

Release Date Description Geography
First release July 2012 Age and sex, and occupied households estimates for England and for Wales* Unitary/local authority, region, country
Second release Nov’ 12 to Feb’13 Key Statistics & Quick Statistics (equivalent to 2001 Key Stats and Univariate stats) Unitary/local authority, region, country, OA, L/MSOA,remaining geographies (health, parish…etc)
Third release Mar’ 13 to June’13 Local Characteristics (equivalent to 2001 Census Area Stats) Unitary/local authority, region, country, OA, L/MSOA, Ward, remaining geographies (health, parish…etc)
Fourth release July’13 to Oct’13 Detailed Characteristics (equivalent to 2001 Standard Tables), Detailed Theme (2001 CAS Theme and Standard Theme) and Armed Forces tables Unitary/local authority, region, country, MSOA, Ward, national park

*UK country level population estimates will be available for five-year age bands but more detailed single year of age estimates will be available for England & Wales. UPDATE 4/4/12: UK population estimates will not be available in July 2012 but will follow in late 2012 following the release of Scottish estimates.

For the 2nd and 3rd releases there will be 3 release phases relating to different geographical levels:

  • 1st phase: OAs, LSOAs, MSOAs, UA/LAs, regions and countries
  • 2nd phase: 2011 Wards
  • 3rd phase: parishes/communities, parliamentary constituencies, health areas, postcodes, national parks

The prospectus is described as dynamic with more information being added as it becomes available, interested parties are invited to register to receive prospectus alerts.

ONS Census Advisory Group


ONS held a combined 2011 Census Advisory Group Meeting on 27/3/12 – the group provides a formal forum for discussion on a wide range of 2011 Census issues and includes representatives from central/local government, health, academia, private sector and the third sector. A number of papers/presentations were provided and can be found below.

Some brief highlights:

  • Census response rates were 94% overall; and at least 80% for every local authority (E&W)
  • ONS are on schedule for first outputs in July; these will be population estimates and will include supporting information relating to comparator data sources (school census, patient register, child benefit data) [An output timetable is expected to be published by the end of this week]
  • a series of tutorials to help users’ understand how the Census estimates were constructed are planned for June
  • almost 200 completed prosecutions for non completion of questionnaires

AG(12) 01 2011 Census Highlight Report (pdf)

AG(12) 02 2011 Census outputs updates (pdf)

AG(12) 04 Dissemination – Future Channels Tools (pdf)

AG(12) 06 Future plans for Stakeholder Engagement, Media and Communications (pdf)

ONS 2011 Census Evaluation


ONS have just published two reports as part of the 2011 Census evaluation programme:

1. A summary report (.pdf) on the take-up of online questionnaire completions and response rates (.xls) for regions, local authorities, wards and Lower Super Output Areas (SOAs). Some highlights:

  • overall, 16% completed Census questionnaires online in England & WalesProportion of Census returns completed online in England & Wales (produced by ONS: Census Update, 'Providing an online Census', Feb'12)
  • 30% of respondents aged 26-35 choose to complete the questionnaire online instead of paper, whilst less than 10% aged over 65 did
  • the Borough of Tower Hamlets in London had the highest online response rate at 29%, whilst Blaenau Gwent in Wales had the lowest at 10%
  • Lower SOAs (34,378 in E&W) online response rates varied from 69% to 5% and ward (8,483 in E&W) response rates varied from 43% to 6%

More information is available from the ONS website.

2. A second report relates to the written translation support services available during the 2011 Census campaign. Fifty-six languages were supported by this service and the evidence used to estimate this need is presented. Again, further information is available from the ONS website.

ONS Outputs roadshow


Venues and booking information have been released for the April (ONS) Census outputs and web dissemination roadshows:

  • Manchester, Manchester City Hall, 17 April
  • York, St William’s College, 18 April
  • London, Royal Statistical Society, 19 April
  • Birmingham, Thistle Hotel, 25 April
  • Newport, Office for National Statistics, 26 April
  • London, Civil Service Club, 27 April

Ensure your attendance by e-mailing: 2011.Census.LA.Liaison@ons.gov.uk to register.

ONS Census February Newsletter

ONS have published their 2nd Census Newsletter aimed at keeping users up to date with Census outputs and dissemination information. Highlights from this issue are:

  • 2011 Census output roadshows will be held in April on:

– 17 April: Manchester
– 18 April: York
– 19 & 27 April: London
– 25 April: Birmingham
– 26 April: Newport

Registration details will be available later this month.

  • first 2011 Census outputs (population estimates by age and sex for LAs) will be released in July 2012. 
  • work has begun (with BT) on the development a data explorer for the ONS website, this is expected to be available towards the end of 2012. Users are invited to help ONS test the data explorer tool by registering their interest by email
  • ONS will also be providing access to Census (and other) data through an API (Application Programming Interface) from October 2012 – SASPAC have been working with ONS to help test this service. User’s interested in the API service should contact ONS
  • as with previous Censuses, the Census Customer Services (CCS) team will are available to provide support and guidance on 2011 and previous Censuses
  • ONS will be presenting at the LARIA conference in Aston, Birmingham on 19 March

SASPAC Support fee discount


To help meet some of the software’s 2011 Census development costs both the SASPAC licence and support fees – which have been frozen for the last ten years – will increase by £75 from 1st April 2012. In order to assist users in this difficult financial climate we are providing the option to avoid this increase by purchasing two year’s support at the discounted 2011/12 rates. All members will be presented with this option when they are contacted for 2012/13 support fees, If you would like to take advantage of any 2011/12 budget under spend before the end of the current financial year please contact the helpdesk.

We will be keeping users up to date with our 2011 Census work via our website’s development page. Here you will be able to see sample screen shots and images as the software develops: to kick-off we have added some samples of the new table layout presentation style.