Area characteristics: Great Britain 1971 to 2011

Published: 14 September 2017| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/389scnndjy.1
Paul Norman


Measures of area deprivation (Townsend) and population density for each decennial census 1971 to 2011 The overall geographical coverage is Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland). The geographical boundary definitions are those used for the dissemination of the 2011 Census. Data for the censuses 1971 to 2001 have been converted from the geography of their original release to the 2011 boundaries. The data are available in Excel files at three geographic scales: a) Lower Super Output Areas (LSOAs) for England & Wales and Data Zones in Scotland (a local level geography); b) Medium Super Output Areas (MSOAs) for England & Wales and Intermediate areas in Scotland; c) Local Authority Districts in England, Wales and Scotland (the geography of local government areas referred to using a variety of definitions). For each census year 1971 to 2011: Each file has a worksheet with variables on total Persons, hectares, population density as continuous (persons per hectares) and categorical (assumed to be urban to rural types); a worksheet with the four input variables which represent dimensions of deprivation (%s of unemployment, non-home ownership, no access to car, household overcrowding); and a worksheet with Townsend deprivation scores and population weighted quintiles (fifths of the distribution). Since the geography is consistent over time and the deprivation is calculated to measure change, for any area in GB, if the index score changes then this can be interpreted as improving or worsening circumstances: More positive = More deprived; More negative = Less deprived. A change in quintile can be interpreted similarly. These data are all available compatible with GIS 'vector' boundaries. Users wanting equivalent data in GIS 'raster' format should see: and


Steps to reproduce

Data preparation, calculations and descriptive analyses are detailed in the following book chapters: Norman P (2016) The Changing Geography of Deprivation in Britain: 1971 to 2011 and Beyond. Chapter 11 in Champion T and Falkingham J (eds.) Population change in the United Kingdom: Rowman & Littlefield: London: 193-214 Norman P & Darlington-Pollock F (2017) The Changing Geography of Deprivation in Great Britain: Exploiting Small Area Census Data, 1971 to 2011. Chapter 30 in Stillwell, J (ed.) The Routledge Handbook of Census Resources, Methods and Applications: 404-420


Demography, Population, Population Health, Social Epidemiology, Census Data, Social Deprivation