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England and Wales




Method of travel to work,Travel to work

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About this dataset

This dataset provides Census 2021 estimates that classify usual residents in England and Wales by their method used to travel to work (2001 specification). The estimates are as at Census Day, 21 March 2021. Census 2021 took place during a period of rapid change. We gave extra guidance to help people on furlough answer the census questions about work. However, we are unable to determine how furloughed people followed the guidance. Take care when using this data for planning purposes. Read more about specific quality considerations in our https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/methodologies/traveltoworkqualityinformationforcensus2021[Labour market quality information for Census 2021 methodology].

National Park data are created by plotting unique properties as identified by their Unique Property Reference Number or postcodes into National Park boundaries current at December 2022. This differs from the OA best fit methodology used for other geographic level data.

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

Method of travel to workplace (12 categories)

Description: A person's place of work and their method of travel to work. This is the 2001 method of producing travel to work variables.

"Work mainly from home" applies to someone who indicated their place of work as their home address and travelled to work by driving a car or van, for example visiting clients.

Quality information: As Census 2021 was during a unique period of rapid change, take care when using this data for planning purposes.

Comparability with 2011: Not comparable. It is difficult to compare this variable with the 2011 Census because Census 2021 took place during a national lockdown. The government advice at the time was for people to work from home (if they can) and avoid public transport.

People who were furloughed (about 5.6 million) were advised to answer the transport to work question based on their previous travel patterns before or during the pandemic. This means that the data does not accurately represent what they were doing on Census Day. This variable cannot be directly compared with the 2011 Census Travel to Work data as it does not include people who were travelling to work on that day. It may however, be partially compared with bespoke tables from 2011.


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