The 2001 Output Area (OA) level Classification places each OA in the UK in a group with those other OAs that are most similar in terms of socio-economic and demographic census variables taken from the Key Statistics tables. This enables similar areas to be classified according to their particular combination of characteristics. The Output Area Classification has been constructed by creating a hierarchy of clusters, which together typify the characteristics of a given area. There are three layers of the classification that make up the hierarchy. The three layers are: 7 Supergroups (first layer); 21 Groups (second layer); 52 Subgroups (third layer). The Groups and Subgroups within a Supergroup provide more specific detail about the members of a Supergroup.
The data consists of 18,200 Output Areas along with the 41 variables used to create the Output Area level Classification and their corresponding values. The files are arranged by Government Region (in which Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales are single and separate regions). In addition there is a Distance from Clusters file containing the distance (SED) for each OA to the Supergroup/Group/Sub-group centre.
Based on areas at time of Census, 29 April, 2001. Data released November 2006.
Documentation is available on the CD-ROM and from Area Classification for Output Areas on the ONS website, and includes:
The Social and Spatial Inequalities (SASI) website at the University of Sheffield is hosting the classification in conjunction with National Statistics Online. It is also designed to give users access to the classification and information about its creation and additional information to aid use.
Written to CD-ROM 16/02/07.
MS-Excel format. Data can also be downloaded from: Area Classification for Output Areas on the ONS website
Data available free from internet. Alternatively Edinburgh University users may contact the Data Library for access.