Bulk data products enable users, particularly managers of information systems, to load large volumes of tables into their own systems in automated ways.
The main statistics from the 2011 Census are published in sets of tables. Users requiring all the tables in a given set can request these from Census Customer Services.
Each set will be available from the time of its release. Bulk data is supplied on DVD (other media are available on request, subject to ONS capabilities and cost, and there may be a charge for this service). Bulk data can be ordered in advance from Census Customer Services by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Bulk data come in two standard formats:
Statistical Data and Metadata eXchange (SDMX-ML), an emerging statistical data exchange format that meets international standards and is best suited to the specialist user.
CSV, a traditional format used for 2001 Census data that has been agreed with major census data distributors and will be more familiar to most programmers.
Further information about these formats will be included in the bulk data products.
Final table layouts for each set of tables will be published prior to and alongside each release, and each cell in each table assigned an identifier. These are frequently referred to as "cell numbered table layouts" and provide users with a reference mechanism to use when loading CSV data (CSV format contains cell IDs).
Datasets available in standard bulk format will generally contain data only for output areas, lower and middle layer super output areas, wards, local authorities, unitary authorities, counties, regions, and countries.
Users of these bulk products will be interested in the supporting geographic information available from ONS and more on this is available in the Geography Prospectus. Output Areas provide building blocks that enable the construction of other geographies in users systems by reference to the supporting geographic information.
Bulk data for other geographies can be commissioned from Census Customer Services; there may be a charge for this service. Learn more about commissioning tables.