Other information


England and Wales



Contact details for this dataset

More data on Nomis

Sources of data
Explore datasets categorised by their sources.

About this dataset

This dataset provides Census 2021 estimates that classify Household Reference Persons aged 16 to 64 years in England and Wales by approximated social grade and by household composition. The estimates are as at Census Day, 21 March 2021. Please be advised, category C1 of the approximated social grade variable includes household reference persons in full-time education. This is the same approach as 2011.

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.

Download options

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.


Household composition (19 categories)

Description: Households according to the relationships between members. One-family households are classified by: - the number of dependent children - family type (married, civil partnership or cohabiting couple family, or lone parent family)

Other households are classified by: - the number of people - the number of dependent children - whether the household consists only of students or only of people aged 66 and over

Quality information: There are quality considerations around consistency of census data on household and family composition and legal partnership status, and changes in the definition of "other household types" since 2011.

Comparability with 2011: Broadly comparable. This is derived from the legal partnership status derived variable. We have made changes to reflect that people can now marry someone of the same-sex and people of the opposite-sex can be in a civil partnership.


Release calendar

Release DateStatusReference Period
There have been no releases.

Revisions and corrections

Date of revisionDates affectedComment
There have been no revisions or corrections.
[ Show / Hide historical revisions and corrections... ]