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England and Wales



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About this dataset

This dataset provides Census 2021 estimates that classify usual residents in households in England and Wales by approximated social grade of their Household Reference Persons aged 16 to 64 years and by country of birth. The estimates are as at Census Day, 21 March 2021.

Protecting personal data

Sometimes we need to make changes to data if it is possible to identify individuals. This is known as statistical disclosure control. In Census 2021, we:

  • Swapped records (targeted record swapping), for example, if a household was likely to be identified in datasets because it has unusual characteristics, we swapped the record with a similar one from a nearby small area. Very unusual households could be swapped with one in a nearby local authority.
  • Added small changes to some counts (cell key perturbation), for example, we might change a count of four to a three or a five. This might make small differences between tables depending on how the data are broken down when we applied perturbation.

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About the variables

Approximated social grade (5 categories)

Description: This socio-economic classification is used by the market research and marketing industries to analyse spending habits and consumer attitudes. It is not possible to assign social grade precisely from Census 2021, although the Market Research Society's method provides a good approximation.

Quality information: As Census 2021 was during a unique period of rapid change, take care when using this data for planning purposes. Read more about this https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/earningsandworkinghours/methodologies/labourmarketqualityinformationforcensus2021[quality notice].

Comparability with 2011: Broadly comparable. In 2021, an improved methodological approach was used to create this variable. However, as social grade was modelled using different algorithms and variables in 2011 and 2021, it would be misleading to use census outputs to examine trends over this period.


Country of birth (15 categories)

Description: The country in which a person was born. For people not born in one of in the four parts of the UK, there was an option to select "elsewhere". People who selected "elsewhere" were asked to write in the current name for their country of birth.

Comparability with 2011: Broadly comparable. We have changed some categories to make them more consistent with country classifications used in other national statistics.


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