Annual Population Survey(APS)

The Annual Population Survey datasets were updated on 18 January 2017 with new figures for the Oct 2015 - Sep 2016 survey period.

Country of birth estimates are not included in this initial release; they will be released at a later date in line with the ONS coherent reporting policy for migration statistics (more details below).

The next update is scheduled for 12 April 2017 when data for the Jan 2016 - Dec 2016 survey period will be released.

Accessing APS data

Headline APS figures for an area are available in local authority profiles and parliamentary constituency profiles.

The headline national and regional figures are available as a separate spreadsheet download (xls).

Use the query tool to access the full APS datasets which contain a much wider range of variables than provided in the profiles:Annual Population Survey: the main data set with the largest set of variables. Use this to get information about people living in an area.

Annual Population Survey - workplace analysis: use this to get employment information about the population working in an area.

Topics covered in the main APS dataset are:

  • Country of birth by white/ethnic minority
  • Disability level by economic activity
  • Economic activity rate by age
  • Economically inactive by age
  • Employment rate by age
  • Full-time and part-time employment
  • Ethnic group by age
  • Ethnic group by industry of employment
  • Ethnic group by occupation of employment
  • Ethnic group by economic activity
  • Health problems by economic activity
  • Hours worked weekly
  • Industry of employment
  • Job-related training
  • National identity and Welsh language
  • Nationality by white/ethnic minority
  • Occupation major group of employment
  • Occupation sub-major group of employment
  • Public and private sector employment
  • Qualifications (GCSE) by age
  • Qualifications (GCSE) of economically active
  • Qualifications (NVQ) by age
  • Qualifications (NVQ) of economically active
  • Qualifications (NVQ) of employed
  • Self-employed and employees
  • Taught adult learning by disability level and by age
  • Unemployment rate by age

About the APS

The Annual Population Survey (APS) is a combined survey of households in Great Britain. Its purpose is to provide information on key social and socioeconomic variables between the 10-yearly censuses, with particular emphasis on providing information relating to sub-regional (local authority) areas. Due to sample size limitations, APS data is not available below local authority level i.e. data is not available for wards and super output areas.

The first publication of APS data covered the survey period January to December 2004. Subsequently, APS data has been published on a quarterly basis, but with each publication covering a year's data. For example, data relating to the survey period April 2004 to March 2005 was published in September 2005, whereas data relating to July 2004 to June 2005 was published in December 2005.

Sample Size

When the APS was introduced in 2004 it comprised the annual Local Area Labour Force Survey (LALFS) supplemented by an extra boost, the APS(B), designed to obtain a sample of 500 economically active adults in each local authority district. As a cost saving measure, the APS(B) was scaled back in mid-2005 and was withdrawn from January 2006.

APS estimates for the April 2005 to March 2006 period onwards revert to the sample used for the previous annual LALFS. The last period which contains APS(B) cases is that covering January to December 2005, as this is the last period for which a complete year's boost is available.

Sample sizes by local authority are available in a spreadsheet from the link below.

APS sample size by local authority

Country of Birth

New measures to improve the way in which population and migration statistics are reported across government were announced on 26 February 2008. This isthe first step towards a new coherent reporting programme for demographic statistics, a key recommendation of the 2006 Interdepartmental Task Force onMigration Statistics. The initiative aims to ensure that related demographic data from different government departments are presented in a coordinated manner on a limited number of dates throughout the year.

Qualification Data

Qualification data are only be available from the APS for calendar year periods (i.e. Jan to Dec periods). This is because the questions in the surveyrelating to qualifications change. From Jan 2006, these changes occur at the start of January each year, so the calendar year will be the only period not be affected by them. Qualifications figures will be shown as missing in other periods. Further Information

The ONS Labour Market Guide has a section about the Annual Population Survey:

The LFS user guide is available from the link below and Volume 6 covers local area data and covers the APS. The methodology for the APS is the same as for the former local area annual LFS. - LFS User Guide