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England and Wales




Armed forces,Veterans

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About this dataset

This dataset provides Census 2021 estimates that classify households in England and Wales by whether or not the Household Reference Person has previously served in the UK armed forces. The estimates are as at Census Day, 21 March 2021.

Following analysis after publishing topic summaries data, we released data at extra geography levels for some datasets.

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

Household reference person previously served in UK armed forces (5 categories)

Definition: Identifies whether the Household Reference Person (HRP) in a household has previously served in the UK armed forces. This includes those who have served for at least one day in armed Forces, either regular, reserves or Merchant Mariners who have seen duty on legally defined military operations. Households are classified by if they were in the regular or reserved UK armed forces, both or neither.

Quality information: Take care when comparing characteristics of UK armed forces veterans and non-veterans, as veterans are mainly male and older. Not adjusting for this fact can lead to misinterpretation, as variables such as health strongly relate to age and sex.

Comparability with 2011: Not comparable. This variable is new for Census 2021 and there is no comparability with the 2011 Census.


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