ONS is aware of the importance to users of samples of anonymised records (SARs) and is confident that fit-for-purpose, appropriately accessible UK microdata files will be made available in 2013.
Three levels of microdata are planned for 2011 Census:
Public use file
The release of this non-disclosive, individual-level file is in line with the government transparency agenda, and ONS plans for this to be available for download from the ONS website. It will be less detailed than the file made available under end-user licence in 2001.
One type of safeguarded file will be at the individual person level, and it is intended that this will be made available to users via their desktops (precise details of the conditions are being finalised). The file is likely to contain a similar level of detail to the 2001 small area microdata, and the individual level SAR.
ONS also intends to release household hierarchical data containing records for all individuals, within a sample of households. All files will be subject to being able to apply sufficient disclosure control.
These anonymised data will be held in a secure environment and will be generally similar to the 2001 Controlled Access Microdata Sample (CAMS), both household and individual, and are likely to contain a sample size of between three and five per cent.
To see the planned microdata product table, download proposed 2011 microdata products.
Under current plans, the 2011 Census microdata files will be made available during 2013.
Planned features include microdata sets with sample sizes larger than previous censuses, the opportunity for exploratory analysis on rich and flexible datasets, the opportunity to test outputs before requesting commissioned tables, and the ability to perform multivariate statistical analysis, all using records that are comparable with the standard census outputs, since they have the same source.
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