Census Profiles for Small Communities

The release of Census data this year, has presented many opportunities to package and present the data in a meaningful way to a number of different audiences. One of these audiences is community and voluntary groups who use Nottingham Insight to evidence their funding bids. As competition for funding increases preparing well-researched and succinct bids has become essential. The Nottingham Community and Voluntary Service (NCVS) holds regular workshops showing these groups how to use the Nottingham Insight and navigate their way to a bespoke area created for this purpose. This is the Community and Voluntary Sector hub.

One way we have packaged the data here is to create small area profiles. This group of users do not work with official boundaries i.e. ward or Census boundaries. They are community focused and want to know what is happening in a small defined community area.

We loaded data at Output Area for Nottinghamshire, using the data packs supplied by OCSI (we had previously only loaded in data to Super Output Area, however after some testing decided this would be a good step forward). There are 3,609 Output Areas in Nottinghamshire. The Census community boundaries were agreed by various partners and are an amalgamation of whole and partial Output Areas.

The profiles provide a snapshot of each small community, enabling comparisons to be made against the district, region and at a national level. Users can easily extract data they require to support their funding application, highlight areas of deprivation and determine their target audience.

The profiles have being well-received and the model can now be replicated in other teams’ areas. For example, our Housing section has asked us to provide Census profiles for their letting areas. The setting up of the profiles in this way has potentially saved many hours of work by officers in calculating Census data for these smaller areas.

Please click here to open an example of a Census community profile.

This posting was written by Wendy Conibear, Information Analyst in the GIS, Data & Information Team (Development Department) at Nottingham City Council

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2 thoughts on “Census Profiles for Small Communities

  1. Hi Wendy

    I picked up your Census Profiles for Small Communities piece fro the InstatntAtlas blog.
    What you’ve been doing looks really interesting to us.
    Here at the Local Government Boundary Commission for England, we carry out reviews of councils’ electoral arrangements…. number of councillors, ward boundaries etc. It means that we set the boundaries for council wards. Its been a while since we have done Nottingham and your not on our hit list, so don’t panic. (But we are doing Nottinghamshire county next year).
    We have to consider electoral equality, but also community identity. It is that you have found a way of reaching agreements about delineations of communities that perhaps has some lessons for us, and no less importantly, the councils we are reviewing (or going to review).

    I’d like to think about following up on your work and so wonder whether you have any development or process papers which might be fairly accessible and which might be shareable.

    I’m not in the most pressing hurry about this, but think it might be too valuable to let it go cold.


    David Owen
    Policy & Research Officer

  2. Hi David,

    We initially based the communities on local knowledge and then consulted with the Area Committee coordinators. The apportioning of output areas was a bit more of a manual process based on the residential properties shapefile from Council Tax. I think part of the reason it worked well was it was carried out at a local level. Also, there were no limits applied on community size so we have areas from a few hundred people to 20,000 plus on Clifton Estate.

    Happy to discuss this in more detail.

    Kind Regards


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