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A census of the population of the United Kingdom is taken every ten years. The 2011 census was held in all countries of the UK on 27 March 2011. It was the first UK census which could be completed online via the Internet.[1] The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is responsible for the census in England and Wales, the General Register Office for Scotland (GROS) is responsible for the census in Scotland, and the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) is responsible for the census in Northern Ireland.

The Office for National Statistics is the executive office of the UK Statistics Authority, a non-ministerial department formed in 2008 and which reports directly to Parliament. ONS is the UK Government's single largest statistical producer of independent statistics on the UK's economy and society, used to assist the planning and allocation of resources, policy-making and decision-making.[2] ONS designs, manages and runs the census in England and Wales. In its capacity as the national statistics office for the United Kingdom, ONS also compiles and releases census tables for the United Kingdom when the data from England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are complete.

In the run-up to the census both the main UK political parties expressed concerns about the increasing cost and the value for money of the census, and it was suggested that the 2011 census might be the last decennial census to be taken.[3]

The first results from the 2011 census, age and sex, and occupied households estimates for England and Wales and Northern Ireland, were released on 16 July 2012.[4] The first results for Scotland,[5] and the first UK-wide results, were published on 17 December 2012.[6] More detailed and specialised data were published from 2013.

Release plans for 2011 census statistics

Responsibility for the release of data from the 2011 census is split between the Office for National Statistics (ONS) for England and Wales, the General Register Office for Scotland (GROS) for Scotland and the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA). The ONS announced in March the release plan for the results of the 2011 census which stated in July 2012.[52] NISRA made a similar announcement with identical release plan.[53] In June 2012 GROS advised on its release plan which commences in December 2012.[54] The releases will comprise data sets enabling the standard comparison with previous census data reports as well as over a hundred new data sets based on the new questions asked in the 2011 census.

Prospectuses

NISRA, ONS and GROS each publish a schedule stating what documents they will release and when. Those documents are called a "prospectus". Each prospectus isn't fixed, but changes as schedules are changed or documents are late. The prospectuses are linked to in the table below.

Area Issuing authority current prospectus and release plans
United Kingdom Office for National Statistics (ONS) – UK Wide Census Releases
England and Wales Office for National Statistics (ONS) – England and Wales Census Releases
Scotland General Registrar Office for Scotland (GROS) – Scotland 2011 Census Releases
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Authority (NISRA) – Northern Ireland 2011 Census Releases

Release schedules

NISRA, ONS and GROS each publish a schedule stating what documents they will release and when. Those documents ar

NISRA, ONS and GROS each publish a schedule stating what documents they will release and when. Those documents are called a "prospectus". Each prospectus isn't fixed, but changes as schedules are changed or documents are late. The prospectuses are linked to in the table below.

Area Issuing authority current prospectus and release plans
United Kingdom [55]

Release 1.1: (17 December 2012)

Population data including data for males and females for the United Kingdom and revised estimates England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.[56]

Release 1.2: (21 March 2013)

Population numbers (rounded), by five-year age bands, sex and densities and household sata at national and local authority level.[57]

Release 1.3: (31 July 2013)

Population estimates (unrounded) by single year of age and sex for the UK and all local authorities (or equivalent) in the UK, along with UK historic population pyramids (1951–2011).Population data including data for males and females for the United Kingdom and revised estimates England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.[56]

Release 1.2: (21 March 2013)

Populatio

Population numbers (rounded), by five-year age bands, sex and densities and household sata at national and local authority level.[57]

Release 1.3: (31 July 2013)

P

Population estimates (unrounded) by single year of age and sex for the UK and all local authorities (or equivalent) in the UK, along with UK historic population pyramids (1951–2011).[58]

Release 2.1 (11 October 2013)Key and Quick statistics Part 1 – Census Profiles; Population, People and Places, Health and Social Care, Travel and Transport. National and Local Authority geographies.

Release 2.2 (4 December 2013)

Key and Quick statistics Part 2 – Census Profiles; Qualifications and Labour Market. National and Local Authority geographies.

Release 2.3 (23 January 2014)

Key and Quick statistics Part 3 – Multivariate, Local and Detailed Characteristics tables for: Living arrangements; Household composition; and Accommodation type.

Subsequent releases of UK-wide 2011 Census specialist products

Population estimates, age and sex, and occupied households estimates for England and for Wales

Release 1.1 (July and September 2012)
  • Release 1.1R (16 July) – Rounded estimates of the usual resident population and households by age, and sex and occupied households at country, regional, and local authority level
  • Release 1.1U (24 September) – Unrounded estimates of the usual resident population and households by age, and sex and occupied households at country, regional, and local authority level
Release 1.2 (22 October 2012)
  • Release 1.1R (16 Ju

    Residents with second properties outside the local authority area of their primary residence, at country and local authority level

    Release 1.3 (23 November 2012)

    Estimates of the usual resident population and households by age, and sex and occupied households at ward and output area level

    Second phase releases: December 2012 – March 2013

    Key and quick univariate (single parameter) statistics based on output levels, with release based on geography. (e.g. local authority, wards and parish/ commun

    Estimates of the usual resident population and households by age, and sex and occupied households at ward and output area level

    Second phase releases: December 2012 – March 2013

    Key Statistics for local authorities in England and Wales comprising data which add

    Key Statistics for local authorities in England and Wales comprising data which adds detail to the population estimates published in July 2012. It includes population information on international migration, age, ethnicity, national identity, health, housing and religion. Also labour force survey data. For Wales, there is data on the Welsh language and population data on unitary authorities.

    Release 2.2 (30 January 2013)

    S

    Statistical tables for Output Areas (OAs) and for wards. Background information covering families, general health and disability, unpaid care, language, occupation and industry, qualifications and economic activity.

    Release 2.3 (19 February 2013)Key and quick statistics for postcode sectors, health areas and Welsh Government devolved constituencies, and the key statistics for national parks in England and Wales, with a separate release for Wales only.

    Release 2.4 (26 March 2013)

    Statistic

    Statistical tables for non-UK short-term residents in England and Wales and quick statistics for England and Wales on national identity, passports held and country of birth, with a separate release for Wales only.

    Third phase releases: May 2013 – February 2014

    More detailed cross tabulation of data topics: Migration; ethnicity, identity, language and

    More detailed cross tabulation of data topics: Migration; ethnicity, identity, language and religion; health; and Welsh tables. Based on local authority areas.

    Release 3.2 (June 2013 and July 2013)

    Detailed Characteristics tables for communal establishments at local authority, MSOA and ward level

    Release 3.5 (November 2013 – February 2014)
    • Release 3.5a (29 November) Detailed Characteristics tables for labour markets and qualifications at local authority, MSOA and ward level
    • Release 3.5b (19 December) Detailed Characteristics tables for labour markets and qualifications at local authority, MSOA and ward level
    • Release 3.5c (26 February) Detailed Characteristics for approximated social grade for MSOAs and wards in England and Wales
    Detailed Characteristics tables for communal establishments at local authority, MSOA and ward level

    Release 3.5 (November 2013 – February 2014)

    Topics will include multivariate data based on combinations of; age, sex resident type, ethnic group, economic activity, general health, provision of unpaid leave, country of birth, occupation, dwelling and accommodation type, household space

    Release 4.1 (31 July 2013)

    The first Local Characteristics tables for the topics of ethnicity, identity, language and religion for Output Areas, unitary and local authorities and regions.

    Release 4.1 (31 July 2013)

    The first Local Characteristics tables for the topics of ethnicity, identity, langu

    The first Local Characteristics tables for the topics of ethnicity, identity, language and religion for Output Areas, unitary and local authorities and regions.

    Release 4.2 (30 August 2013)Local Characteristics tables for the topics of health and unpaid care for Output Areas. Follow up to Release 3.2b on 12 July 2013.

    Release 4.3 (26 September 2013)<

    Local Characteristic Tables for the topic of migration for Output Areas.

    Release 4.4 (January – February 2014)
    Release 5.1 (October 2013)
    • Release 5.1a (31 October) – Topics: Non UK born short-term resident population statistics for Local Authorities.
    • Release 5.1b (31 October) – Topics: Workday population statistics for Output Areas (Part 1)
    Release 5.2 (April 2014)
    • Release 5.2a (24 April 2014) – Topics: Workplace Population Statistics using the new workplace zone geography
    • Release 5.2b (24 April 2014)

      Out-of-term time statistics for:- population density, Marital and civil partnership status, sex and age, ethnic group and country of birth, main language, Welsh language, religion, passport held, provision of unpaid care, general health, highest level of qualification, economic activity, hours worked, industry, occupation, length of residence in the UK.

      Sixth phase releases (May 2014)

      • Release 6.1a (23 May 2014) – Migration Statistics for Wales
      • Release 6.2 (23 May 2014) – Armed Forces Statistics for Local Authorities in England and Wales

      Subsequent releases of specialist products

      In addition to the six main releases phases further supplementary, smaller scale and specialist releases including; Small population groups, Microdata (teaching files, safeguarded files and secure files), Origin-destination data, and Alternate population bases.

      Supplementary Releases via Nomis
      • Release Sup. 1 (9 April 2014) Local Characteristics tables released on Nomis for:- residence, ethnic group, national identity, language proficiency, long-term health, student accommodation, highest level of qualification and occupation.
      • Release Sup, 2 (25 May 2014) Local Characteristics tables released on Nomis for:- ethnic group, general health, religion and social grade.
      • Release Sup, 3 (9 September 2014) Local Characteristics tables released on Nomis – Part 1:- residence, country of birth, long-term and general he

        In addition to the six main releases phases further supplementary, smaller scale and specialist releases including; Small population groups, Microdata (teaching files, safeguarded files and secure files), Origin-destination data, and Alternate population bases.

        Supplementary Releases via Nomis
        • Release Sup. 1 (9 April 2014) Local Characteristics tables released on Nomis for:- residence, ethnic group, national identity, language proficiency, long-term health, student accommodation, highest level of qualification and occupation.
        • Release Sup, 2 (25 May 2014) Local Characteristics tables released on Nomis for:- ethnic group, general health, religion and social grade.
        • Release Sup, 3 (9 September 2014) Local Characteristics tables released on Nomis – Part 1:- residence, country of birth, long-term and general health, religion, language proficiency, provision of unpaid care, workplace and travel to work.
        • <

          The release plans for Northern Ireland were set out by the NISRA. The release phases are closely synchronised with those of the ONS for England and Wales with some marginal variations to allow for local administrative arrangements.[59] The release phases are as follows:-

          First phases releases (July – September 2012)

          Release 1.1 (16 July 2012)

          Usual resident population by single age and sex.

          Release 1.2 (19 September 2012)

          Usual resident population by single age and sex for Local Government Districts, etc. Household number and size by geographic units.

          Second phase releases (December 2012 – February 2013)

          Release 2.1 (11 December 2012)

          Key statistics for NI and Local Government Districts etc.

          Release 2.2 (30 January 2013)

          Key statistics for Assembly Areas, Electoral Wards, Super Output Areas (SOAs) and Sammer Areas (SAs)

          Release 2.3 (28 February 2013)

          Usual resident population by single age and sex for Local Government Districts, etc. Household number and size by geographic units.

          Second phase releases (December 2012 – February 2013)

          Key statistics for Assembly Areas, Electoral Wards, Super Output Areas (SOAs) and Sammer Areas (SAs)

          Release 2.3 (28 February 2013)
          <

          Key statistics for Assembly Areas, Electoral Wards, Super Output Areas (SOAs) and Sammer Areas (SAs)

          Release 2.3 (28 February 2013)

          Quick statistics for all geographies and population and household estimates for lower geographies.

          Third phase releases (May – November 2013)

          Detailed characteristics for NI (including ethnicity, country of birth and language).

          Release 3.3 (11 September 2013)

          A

          All outstanding detailed characteristics for the remaining geographic areas.

          Fourth phase release (March 2014)<

          Multivariate local characteristic tables and detailed themes around: economic activity; country of birth; occupation; and unpaid care.

          Subsequent releases of specialist products

          In addition to the three main releases further smaller-scale and specialist releases including; Detailed, Local Characteristics, Special and Alternative populations:

          • Release (24 September 2014) Short-Term Resident Population
          • Release (19 November 2014) Workplace Population Statistics
          • Release (18 December 2014) Daytime Population Statistics
          • Release (30 January 2015) Statistics f

            In addition to the three main releases further smaller-scale and specialist releases including; Detailed, Local Characteristics, Special and Alternative populations:

            • Release (24 September 2014) Short-Term Resident Population
            • Release (19 November 2014) Workplace Population Statistics
            • Release (18 December 2014) Daytime Population Statistics
            • Release (30 January 2015) Statistics for New Local Government Districts, Wards and Small Areas
            • Release (26 February 2015) Detailed and Local Characteristics Travel to

              The release plans for Scotland were set out by the GROS Release phase dates are partly in sync with those of the other UK constituent country statistical authorities, however the first release was scheduled for six months after the first releases by the other authorities. Consequently, release of UK-wide data has been scheduled so as to coincide with release plans for Scotland's Census releases.[60] The release phases are as follows:-

              First release: (December 2012 – August 2013)

              Population estimates, based on resident households, communal establishments and age bands.

              Release 1A (17 December 2012)

              Estimates of the usually resident population of Scotland rounded to the

              Estimates of the usually resident population of Scotland rounded to the nearest thousand, broken down by age and sex. An estimate of the total population in each council area, rounded to nearest thousand.

              Release 1B (21 March 2013)

              Populatio

              Population estimates by five-year age bands and sex for Scotland and each council area. Household estimates. Population and household changes since 2001 census. Population dependency ratios for Scotland and each council area.

              Release 1C (July – August 2013)

              Key and quick statistics tables for marriage and civil partnership, ethnicity, religion, language proficiency, country of birth and national identity, heath (excluding long-term health), age, arrival in UK, population and households, housing and accommodat

              Key and quick statistics tables for marriage and civil partnership, ethnicity, religion, language proficiency, country of birth and national identity, heath (excluding long-term health), age, arrival in UK, population and households, housing and accommodation, car and van ownership. Coverage: Scotland, Council Areas and Health Boards.

              Release 2B (11 November 2013)

              K

              Key and quick statistics tables for Education and Labour Market. Coverage: All output areas and Data Zones. Also the key and quick statistics for the remaining geographies of the topics covered in Release 2a.

              Release 2C (18 December 2013)

              Key and quick statistics tables for Living Arrangements and Travel to Work Methods. Coverage: All levels of census geographies.

              Release 2D (9 April 2014)

              Key and quick

              Key and quick statistics tables for households, health and deprivation

              Third release: (February 2014 onwards)

              Detailed Characteristics tables f

              Detailed Characteristics tables for Ethnicity, National Identity, Language Proficiency and Skills and Religion topics −1

              Release 3B (19 March 2014)

              Local and

              Local and Detailed Characteristics tables for Ethnicity, National Identity, Language Proficiency and Skills and Religion topics −2

              Release 3C (9 April 2014)

              L

              Local and Detailed Characteristics tables for Ethnicity, National Identity, Language Proficiency and Skills and Religion topics −3

              Release 3D (15 May 2014)

              L

              Local and Detailed Characteristics tables from Marriage and Civil Partnership, Household, Residency, Family and Living Arrangements, English Language Skills

              Release 3E (4 June 2014)

              Local and Detailed Characteristics tables from Marriage and Civil Partnership, Residency, Family and Living Arrangements, Communial establishments

              Release 3F (25 June 2014)Local and Detailed Characteristics tables for Health, Housing, Population and Diversity

              Release 3G (23 July 2014)

              Local and Detailed Characteristics tables for Economic Activity and Education

              Release 3H (13 August 2014)Local and Detailed Characteristics tables for Qualifications, Employment and Economic Activity, Travel for Work and Study.

              Release 3I (24 September 2014)<

              Local and Detailed Characteristics tables for Labour Market and Education tables

              Release 3J (16 October 2014)

              Local

              Local and Detailed Characteristics tables including Long-term Health and Care, Housing and Accommodation

              Release 3K (6 November 2014)

              Local and Detailed Characteristics tables including Household and Residence

              Release 3L (27 November 2014)Local and Detailed Characteristics tables including Transport

              Release 3M (18 December 2014)