This release contains Census 2021 estimates of origin-destination data which includes the movement of people from one location to another to migrate, work, or stay at a second address from Census 2021 in England and Wales.

Detail of release

Origin-destination public data have 30 datasets which include main flows, univariate and multivariate datasets. For more information on the variables, classifications, and geographies available for origin-destination data, go to the origin-destination data page on the ONS website. More detailed datasets are available via safeguarded or secure access routes. Find our plans for these also on the origin-destination data page.

The downloads on this page package all data for a dataset as a single zip file. Each zip file contains separate CSV files for each geographic type. The zip file also contains a metadata XLS file. Please note to open CSV files in Excel the number of rows within the dataset must not exceed 1 million.

Census data only includes people living in England and Wales and inflows from those who have moved into England and Wales in the one-year period before Census Day. It also includes outflows to Northern Ireland and Scotland where people commuted to a workplace or who stayed at a second address in these two countries.

Description of the data

There are four types of origin-destination flows for the Census 2021.

Origin-destination Migration data

These datasets show the migration patterns (both internal and international) of people aged one year and over, based on their location one year before Census Day (21 March 2021). These data include two main flows, nine univariate, and one multivariate dataset.

ODMG - Origin and destination of migrants datasets (size: 31.0 MB)

Origin-destination Workplace data

These datasets show commuting flows between usual residence and place of work for people aged 16 years and over in employment or temporarily away from work in the week before Census Day. These data include one main flow and seven univariate datasets.

ODWP - Location of usual residence and place of work datasets (size: 226.0 MB)

Origin-destination Second Address data

These datasets show movement of usual residents to and from their second addresses. A second address refers to somewhere people may live for a variety of reasons including for their relationship, work, or study purposes. These data include four main flows and one univariate dataset.

ODSA - Second address datasets (size: 1.7 MB)

Origin-destination Student data

These datasets show the movement of usual residents aged 16 years and over who had a different address one year before Census Day which was a student term-time or boarding school address in the UK. These data include one main flow and four univariate datasets.

ODST - Student term-time or boarding school address datasets (size: 3.2 MB)

Quality information

Census 2021 collected responses during coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, a period of unparalleled and rapid change. Changes, which affected the information gathered for several topics, included:

Please review to our User guide to Census 2021 Origin-destination data, England and Wales, providing important quality information which should be considered when using the Census 2021 origin-destination data for policy and planning purposes.


For more information on how the Origin-destination datasets have changed for 2021, compared to 2011 see the origin-destination data page on the ONS website and the statistical bulletin on the ONS website.


Census 2021 statistics are published from information collected about people and their households. We group data together based on who the information is about, for example individuals or households. Further information on measurements used in Census 2021 data can be found in the Census dictionary


A household is defined as:

This includes:

A household must contain at least one person whose place of usual residence is at the address. A group of short-term residents living together is not classified as a household, and neither is a group of people at an address where only visitors are staying.

Usual resident

A usual resident is anyone who on Census Day, 21 March 2021, was in the UK and had stayed or intended to stay in the UK for a period of 12 months or more or had a permanent UK address and was outside the UK and intended to be outside the UK for less than 12 months.

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:

Read more in Section 5 of our article Design for Census 2021.

More information

Groups not included in this set can be requested as similar outputs through the commissioned table service, for a charge. The commissioned tables will only be available for migration and workplace flows. The creation of ad hoc tables is constrained by the data, by the availability of skilled staff to compile them, by any similarities to what the ONS has already released or plans to release, and the need to protect confidentiality of individuals. More information is available on the ONS website.

More information on results from Census 2021 is available on the Office for National Statistics website.

If you have any questions about Census 2021 Origin-destination products, contact:

Census Customer Services
PO15 5RR

Telephone: +44 (0)1329 444972