NEW training videos!


Please take some time to view our video training page; the videos available are great step-by-step guides of how to carry out common tasks.

There are currently videos available with the most recent videos added being modules 4a & 4b, these modules show:

Module 4a – Demonstrates how to create new zones – By individual area selection.
Module 4b – Demonstrates how to create new zones – By reference to a gazetteer.

Please take a look and keep an eye out for more videos becoming available soon!


Data Release


The SASPAC team have recently added the following datasets to our website:

  • 2011 Census Key/Quick Statistics tables for Postcode Areas, Districts and Sectors in England & Wales. A link to the download page is here or a direct link to download the System files is here (60MB .zip)
  • 2011 Census Merged Ward boundary files in Mapshore (BDY),MapInfo (TAB) and ESRI (SHP) formats.

Users may also be interested in a new Geography Portal recently released by ONS. The site allows you to search, view and download geographic data such as postcode directories, boundaries, names and codes for all their area statistics.

2011 Census lookup files for LAs


Following the release of the 2011 Census boundaries and lookup table products on 30 October 2012, colleagues at the LGA have very helpfully created a set of tables that join together several of the original lookups into separate Excel worksheets – one for each local authority in England & Wales. Each table contains the following:

– 2011 Output Area code

– lower super output area code/name

– local authority/district code/name

– ward code/name

These files are available from the LGA website and many thanks to Stephen Richards for creating them. The original lookup files are available from the ONS website.

Website Update


The Training section of the SASPAC website has been updated and is the place to go for the latest training materials, information on course booking and Helpdesk contact details.

The SASPAC Training Manual has also been revised to include information on the 2011 Census and can be accessed via the Downloads page of the website.

The manual includes an introduction to the census dataset and an explanation of census geographies as well as modules to guide the user through various SASPAC features. It is a useful resource for both newcomers to the census and, as a reference tool, to more experienced users.

The Support pages of the website now have a new Resources section where the SASPAC team will upload videos, presentations and all manner of useful and interesting material. Click on the image to watch a short video introduction to the Census and SASPAC.


link to video

ONS 2011 Census Geography Prospectus


Today saw ONS publish the 2011 Census Geography Prospectus. This contains details of what and when geographic products (digital boundaries, digital spatial data and lookup tables) will be released. When available, these products will be available to download from the ONS website or supplied on hard media from Customer Services.

The first products will be available, one month prior to the second release of Census data, in October 2012 (subject to the Census outputs being published on time in November) and the second will follow in January 2013. More details relating to what’s incorporated in these releases are below:

Date Products Format
October 2012 2011 Ouput Area, Lower and Middle Layer Super Output Areas shapefile/kml
2011 Ouput Area, Lower and Middle Layer Super Output Areas population weighted centroids shapefile/kml
2001 Ouput Area, Lower and Middle Layer Super Output Areas shapefile/kml
2011 Output Area to 2011 geography lookup files (e.g LSOA/MSOA, wards, LA/UAs, counties, 2001 to 2011 OAs) text/csv
January 2013 2011 Workplace zones (WZ) shapefile/kml
2011 Workplace zones population weighted centroids shapefile/kml
2011 Output Area to 2011 geographies (e.g. settlements, urban areas, postcode sectors) text/csv

Full details of all the products and releases dates are here (.xls).

A ‘Census Geography FAQ‘ document (pdf) is also available and provides further explanation into some of the geographic issues, some highlights:

  • Digital boundaries are expected to made available under an Open Government Licence so will be free for reuse by all (a final decision on this is expected by the end of June 2012)
  • Only 2011 Output Areas, Lower and Middle Layer Super Output Areas, Local Authorities and National Park statistics will be published on an exact-fit basis, all other geographies will be best-fit
  • less than 5% of 2001 OA/SOA boundaries are expected to change in 2011