Detail of release

This release contains Census 2021 estimates for the workplace population in England and Wales.

The workplace population is an estimate of the usually resident population aged 16 years and over, working in an area. It includes people who work mainly at or from home, or do not have a fixed place of work, in their area of usual residence.

The downloads on this page package all the data for a dataset as a single zip file. Each zip file contains separate CSV files for each geographic layer. 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.

All workplace population datasets

Workplace population datasets

Quality information

Census 2021 took place during a period of unparalleled change because of the coronavirus pandemic. On Census Day, 21 March 2021, a nationwide lockdown was still in place, with government guidance requiring people to work from home wherever possible. Due to the circumstances in which Census 2021 data were collected, take care when comparing 2011 and 2021 estimates for the workplace population. The data are not directly comparable due to definitional and behavioural differences.

The government guidance will have increased the number of people in 2021 who selected the ''Work from home'' box for their place of work compared with the 2011 Census. We did not collect any workplace address information for those working at home. This means that a smaller proportion of the population in employment have been recorded at a workplace address in 2021 compared with 2011.

Some people in employment will have been unable to work in the week before Census Day, as retail and businesses that were defined as ''non-essential'' were closed. During the coronavirus pandemic, people in England and Wales were supported by the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, national income support schemes also referred to as ''furlough''. We gave extra guidance to help people on furlough answer the Census 2021 questions about work.

It is unclear how representative Census 2021 workplace estimates are of people's typical workplace locations before and during the coronavirus pandemic. People in employment were advised to record how they travelled on Census Day, whilst people temporarily away from work (including those on furlough) were asked to record their previous travel to work patterns. We are unable to determine if people on furlough followed the guidance to record their previous employment and travel to work information, or if they responded with their status as at Census Day.

Take care when using workplace population data for planning purposes. Read more about specific quality considerations in our Labour market quality information for Census 2021 methodology and Travel to work quality information for Census 2021 methodology on the ONS website.

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

Data not included in this release can be requested as similar outputs through the commissioned table service, for a charge. 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 workplace population products, contact:

Census Customer Services
PO15 5RR

Telephone: +44 (0)1329 444972