2011 UK Output Area Classification Consultation


The ONS are working with the University College London to develop a new UK Output Area classification (OAC) using the 2011 Census data. This will update the 2001 classification previously produced by the University of Leeds.

A user engagement exercise runs from 17 February to 30 March 2012 and is aimed at users of the 2001 OAC but also relevent to anyone interested in social area classifications, involving geodemographics and neighbourhood classifications. For more information and a copy of the User Engagement form visit the ONS website.

If you would like to see some of the initial work that has been undertaken by Chris Gale, a UCL research student whose PhD is focussing on creating this new Output Area Classification, then please click here.

Looking “Beyond 2011”


The RSS are hosting a “Looking Beyond 2011” event on 21 October 2011. The meeting represents a first opportunity for a broad community of users and stakeholders to hear about the UK Statistics Authority’s Beyond 2011 programme and the initial work undertaken by ONS.  The Beyond 2011 Population Statistics Programme was set up to establish and test models that will, in future, meet users’ needs for census type statistics in the UK, including wider socio-demographic statistics. For more details and to register to attend the event visit the RSS website.



The latest BURISA newsletter (187) was published this week and includes an article entitled “SASPAC – a 30-year success story!“. This provides an overview of SASPAC’s history – going back to it’s origins with David Rhind and Keith Dugmore and the 1981 Census – what we’re up to now and a look towards the future. The newsletter also features a 2011 Census update, reports on data visualisation, measuring wellbeing and lots more. The full newsletter is available to BURISA members from their website but the SASPAC article has been extracted and is available here.

BURISA is a non-profit making organisation that aims to promote better communication between people concerned with information and information systems in local and central government, the health services, utilities and the academic world through its regular newsletter and periodic conferences and workshops.

Census Man!


Census man image“Help Census Man save the day and fly around 8 different cities to help the citizens return their census forms to the postbox before its too late!”

As part of the promotional activities to widen knowledge of the Census a viral online game called “Census Man” has been developed and is being shared across social networks such as Facebook. Circulate around your networks to help spread the word, SASPAC hasn’t managed to get past level three yet!

UK Census questionnaires are in the post!


Today saw the start of the distribution of Census questionnaires to almost 30 million households across the UK. In today’s press releases, ONS stressed the ability for people to complete the questionnaire online whilst GROS have enlisted the help of the Scottish Premier League football stars to raise publicity.  Below is the (ONS) Census Director, Glen Watson with a Royal Mail worker at the census questionnaire post out launch (more images are available from their gallery).

Advisory Panel write to RGs


The SASPAC Advisory Panel recently wrote to the Registrar Generals of Scotland and Northern Ireland requesting a coordinated technical approach to the delivery of UK 2011 Census Outputs. ONS are already committed to building an Application Programming Interface (API) that allows SASPAC (and others) to directly search and query the ONS datastore. However, for users to be able to query UK-wide data, GROS and NISRA will need to deliver data using a similar mechanism.

SASPAC Advisory Panel 2011 UK outputs letter to RGs

Responses from both Offices confirmed their commitment to deliver “consistent, coherent and accessible statistics” and an intention toprovide a feed of census data to ONS for inclusion in a consolidated UK census database” but no plans to develop their own external API. This may not cause any major problems…as long as they both provide all the data for ONS to push out using their API?

NISRA 2011 Outputs


NISRA recently held two ‘census users information days’ to discuss proposals for the outputs from the 2011 Census. Topics covered included:  Output content proposals; dissemination strategy; geography and disclosure control and slides from the day have been posted on the NISRA website.

slide show image

Although SASPAC was not able to attend the event it was pleased to see plans to develop ‘online data cubes’ still features heavily in their dissemination strategy and is keen for NISRA to follow ONS API approach.

NISRA welcome further comments via email.