3.4 Statistical geographies
Statistical geographies are geographical regions that are designed for the collection and dissemination of area based statistics. We need to make a distinction between statistical geographies that are designed for the gathering of statistical data or for the output of statistics. In either case, the statistical geography will tend to be designed to meet certain criteria such that the regions are similar in size or shape and that they encompass a similar number of people within their extent. We have already come across Census Output Areas, Standard Regions, Lower Layer Super Output Areas and Travel To Work Areas. Each of these is a type of statistical region that is used in conjunction with specific types of area based statistics. Output Areas are designed to be used with aggregate area based census statistics from the 2001 census of population. Standard regions are designed to be used with statistics that make broad regional comparisons across the UK. Travel To Work Areas are used with statistics that capture flow of individuals between their place of residence and place of work. Finally Lower Layer Super Output Areas are designed to be used with area based statistics and datasets that have been generated by organisations since the time of the census and are now known as the UK`s standard geography for the reporting of such information.
Using data at this level of geography we could make broad comparisons between characteristics of regions of the country.
It won’t be a surprise but census geographies are those that you will encounter most often when using the resources and data present within the census programme. During the rest of this section we will explore in detail the nature of census geographies.