A subdivision of a local authority drawn up for electoral purposes.(Described in full as "electoral wards" in England, and as "electoral divisions" in Wales and in the Isle of Wight).
Wards are represented at local authority level by councillors, and the availability of statistical information for wards has considerable importance for local government. The wards within each single or lower tier local authority are reviewed periodically, and changes are implemented through statutory instruments.
Wards vary considerably in population size from a few with only a handful of residents, to a range of sizes between a few hundred residents to a few thousand residents in a typical local authority district, and to a range of sizes between several thousand residents to over 30,000 residents in the larger London boroughs, metropolitan districts, and Unitary Authorities. This puts some limits on the use of wards as standard comparable areas.
Boundaries of 2003 wards in local areas overlain on topographical base maps may be viewed in the 'Customised tables, charts and maps' option of Neighbourhood Statistics or in the Nomis 'wizard' and 'advanced' queries as part of the 'geography' step after activating 'turn maps on'.
A ward with a reference date of Census day (5 April 1991).
2001 and 2003 wards
The reference date for the boundaries of wards was generally 31 December 2002 which was a response to a widespread requirement for up to date areas. Where wards changed between 2001 and the end of 2002, results for the 2001 wards were not produced as a routine, but the majority of wards were unchanged.
2004 and later ward
A ward with a reference date at the end of 2003 or later years where boundary change has been implemented by statutory instrument in that calendar year. Figures produced for these wards are on a best fit basis.
A ward with populations above the thresholds for the release of Census Area Statistics (CAS). Only 18 wards, mainly in the City of London, fell below the thresholds. They were amalgamated for the release of CAS.
A ward with populations above the thresholds for the release of Standard Tables. Some 113 wards fell below the thresholds, and were amalgamated for the release of Standard Tables.
Workplace and travel to work
The Census obtains the workplace address of those who were in employment in the week below the Census, and presents statistics of workers by area of address of workplace as well as area of residence. There are also matrices giving 'flows' from residence to workplace.