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Government offices for the regions (GOR) were established across England in 1994.

Reflecting a number of government departments, their aim was to work in partnership with local people and organisations in order to maximise prosperity and the quality of life within their area.

In 1996 the GORs became the primary classification for the presentation of regional statistics.

There were originally ten GORs, but in 1998 Merseyside was merged with the rest of the North West.

GORs were built up of complete counties/unitary authorities, so although they were subject to change, they always reflected administrative boundaries as at the end of the previous year.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were not subdivided into GORs but are listed with them as regions in UK-wide statistical comparisons.

After the Comprehensive Spending Review, it was confirmed that the GORs would close on 31 March 2011, shifting focus away from regions to local areas.

However, there is still a requirement to maintain a region-level geography for statistical purposes.

The GSS Regional and Geography Committee (GSSRGC) have agreed that from 1 April 2011, the former GORs should be simply referred to as 'regions'.

These areas retain the names, codes and boundaries of the former GORs.

The former Standard Statistical Regions (SSR)

SSRs were the primary classification for English regional statistics prior to the adoption of GORs.

They are now rarely used, and are certainly no longer 'Standard'.

The eight SSRs were also based on whole administrative units, but did not have any administrative function.

Most SSRs had the same names and boundaries as the GORs, but there are the following differences:

  • The North SSR consisted of the North East GOR together with Cumbria (which was part of the North West GOR)

  • London did not exist as an SSR in its own right; instead it was part of the South East SSR

  • The East of England GOR did not exist as an SSR. Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough formed the East Anglia SSR; the rest of the GOR was part of the South East SSR

  • The Yorkshire and The Humber GOR covered the same area as the Yorkshire and Humberside SSR.

Regions, GORs and SSRs use the names and codes listed below.

Note that between 1996 and 1999 there were several changes to the GOR list.

Region boundaries for use in GIS, names and codes, lookup files and pdf maps are available in the Open Geography portal

From 2011 the region names and codes listing has included the nine character GSS codes (operative 1 January 2011).

For more information, please see the Code History Database.

Regions (nine character codes)

GORs (Jan 1999–Mar 2011)

GORs (Aug 1998–Jan 1999)

GOR (Apr 1996–Jul 1998)


E12000001 A North East A North East A North East 1 North
E12000002 B North West B North West B North West 2 Yorkshire and Humberside
E12000003 D Yorkshire and The Humber D Yorkshire and The Humber C Merseyside 3 East Midlands
E12000004 E East Midlands E East Midlands D Yorkshire and The Humber 4 East Anglia
E12000005 F West Midlands F West Midlands E East Midlands 5 South East
E12000006 G East of England G Eastern F West Midlands 6 South West
E12000007 H London H London G Eastern 7 West Midlands
E12000008 J South East J South East H London 8 North West
E12000009 K South West K South West J South East
K South West



Content from the Office for National Statistics.
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