Accessing Census and ONS data

As well as the specific sources listed for different topics in this directory, 2011 Census data and other data collected by the ONS is a goldmine of data across a wide range of topics and for many specific population groups.

Census data

ONS conducts the census in England and Wales every ten years.

Read our handy summary of key Census 2011 data for Southwark here, or the Council's shorter summary here.

You can view quite detailed census data, down to ward level, in map format here. Clear GLA London-level summaries on different topics, often displaying borough-level data, can be found here.

Census data can also be used for detailed analysis of different population groups and their needs, perhaps to demonstrate why a particular project is needed in your ward or to find out which ethnic groups to target your support services at.

The main portal for the last census (2011) is here. It contains some interesting interactive tools but can be hard to navigate.

We recommend three main methods for accessing census data:

1. The ONS data explorer is the simplest option if you want data on just one variable and don’t require much detail. Data goes down to ward level.
2. This tool from NOMIS can be used for data on one variable or on two or more variables and goes down to ward, parish and lower super output area level.
3. Use the 2011 Census Index of Tables and Topics for very complex queries.

Community Southwark has produced a detailed guide on how to use these census access tools: click here.

Other ONS statistics

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is the UK’s largest independent producer of official statistics and is the recognised national statistical institute for the UK. As well as the Census, it is responsible for collecting and publishing statistics related to the economy, population and society at national, regional and local levels.

Statistics publications and data tables are generally displayed on the ONS site in date order and there can be an overwhelming number of them. However, you can break them down into subject areas (Browse By Theme) or search for specific key terms in the Publications or Data).

You can also view a list of statistics relevant to the London region.

London’s last regional profile can be viewed here.

The ONS also provides Neighbourhood Statistics, though not all features of this site currently function well. You can either look for a snapshot of a particular area by postcode, or search for detailed data by different types of area (including local authority, output areas, wards, health and education authorities, parishes and parliamentary constituencies).

This will give available statistics documents in the areas of census, crime&safety, economic deprivation, education&skills, health&care, housing, key indicators, indices of deprivation and classification, income&lifestyles, population&migration, physical environment, and work deprivation.

Indices of deprivation

The indices of deprivation measure overall deprivation, and deprivation in the dimensions of income, employment, health/disability, education/skills/training, barriers to housing and services, crime, living environment, children and older people. The most recent figures are for 2015.


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