1. What the Centre for Subnational Analysis does

Comprising economists, social researchers, and operational delivery professionals, the Centre for Subnational Analysis aims to support local data users and provide them with statistical insight to understand their area and to make effective decisions. We work with teams across ONS and the Government Statistical Service to create new breakdowns of data for subnational geographies, to add insight to data by linking information together, and to collaborate on creating new analysis that meets the needs we identify from subnational users.

We produce regular outputs including productivity and subnational trade, collaborate on projects with international organisations including EuroStat and the OECD, produce bespoke outputs on cross-cutting topics, and engage in analysis directly with local authorities, city regions, and Local Enterprise Partnerships. We also conduct user groups including the Regional Geography Committee, the Combined Authorities Liaison Group, and circulate a newsletter aimed at local users.

Our international engagement on European City Statistics, the NUTS geography framework and OECD territorial indicators are explained in more detail in the International, Regional and City Statistics page.

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2. Aims of the Centre for Subnational Analysis

  • To provide innovative and insightful analysis to inform subnational policymaking.

  • To work with city and regional stakeholders to understand their statistical and analytical requirements, and to collaborate with ONS and GSS colleagues to deliver these requirements.

  • To provide leadership and direction to the ONS and GSS in creating and disseminating subnational statistics and analysis.

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3. Subnational publications and products

Publications of subnational products are created across the Government Statistical Service. In this section we provide links to analytical outputs that have been published by the Centre for Subnational Analysis, and links to regular publications produced elsewhere in ONS which include breakdowns of data by local geographies.

Many tables of data are also published as ad hoc releases and can be found through the list of user requested data on our website. Some of those tables include subnational breakdowns of existing statistics produced according to user requests.

Recent cross-cutting analysis by the Centre

In this section, we list the latest cross-cutting analysis as of 16 July 2020 by the Centre for Subnational Analysis.

In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we have published the following items:

Further information related to the pandemic can be found on the dedicated Coronavirus (COVID-19) web page, and is also summarised in the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Roundup.

Subregional productivity provides estimates of labour productivity per head, and per hour, for a variety of breakdowns including Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), City Region, and NUTS3 geographies. Information about the sources and drivers of subregional productivity is summarised in Understanding spatial labour productivity in the UK.

Job quality indicators in the UK investigated the number of hours worked, the hourly pay received, and the type of contracts held by employees in 2018. These metrics form part of wider analysis of job quality, and are presented at the UK, city region and NUTS3 geographic level including an interactive tool showing the different metrics.

High Streets in Great Britain provides new insight into what constitutes a high street, and how many people, businesses and jobs they contain across the UK. This project, in collaboration with Ordnance Survey, was the first release of new geographic analysis on the topic with further outputs planned for 2020.

An introduction to understanding towns in England and Wales analyses 1,186 "town" geographies including their measures of employment, population growth, and deprivation between 2009 and 2017. Further outputs on the topic of towns are planned for 2020.

Since 2016 we have been developing breakdowns of international trade, separately for exports of services and for imports of services for regions, city regions, and NUTS3 geographies. This includes breakdowns by industry and by trading partner country, first developed in 2016 and is still undergoing further development. Associated breakdowns of goods trade by NUTS3 geography are available from Regional Trade Statistics produced by HMRC.

Economies of Ale presents an investigation into the pubs and bars sector across the country at the local authority level, in particular changes in the number of jobs, businesses and turnover of those businesses between 2001 and 2019.

We have published extensive work about London's people, labour market, businesses and economy. This is in support of projects such as Local Industrial Strategies, London's Economic Evidence Base, and London's Economic Fairness Indicators. Publications include London jobs by industry and age, jobs by country of birth, jobs by various other characteristics, average earnings of employees by various breakdowns, self-employment by age, sex and ethnicity, estimates of over-employment, analysis of graduates working in non-graduate roles, number of London residents working in zero hour contracts, and percentages of employee jobs paid less than the London living wage.

Other cross-cutting analysis by the Centre

In this section, we present older articles produced by the Centre for Subnational Analysis that remain relevant and may be of interest to users.

The Economic Review April 2018 included three articles covering regional analysis around the topics of economic output and productivity.

The spatial distribution of industries in Great Britain investigated both the structure of local economies and the spatial distribution of employment within specific industries, including location quotients, in the regions and NUTS2 areas of Great Britain.

Our article Identifying Science and Technology Businesses in Official Statistics provides an approach to using the Standard Industrial Classification to analyse businesses which have a scientific or technological focus. Ad hoc tables of information have been published following this release, including numbers of employees and workplaces in Science and Technology in local authorities of the UK in 2016.

Exploring Personal Well-being and Place investigated the links between personal well-being and place through regression analysis of the APS Personal Well-being dataset.

Travel to work area analysis in Great Britain may be of interest to users who make use of the ONS Travel to Work Areas (TTWA) in their work.

Census 2011 analysis produced by the team included Comparing Rural and Urban areas of England and Wales, Coastal Communities, Characteristics of Built-Up Areas, and Analysis of the Workplace Population.

The Centre also leads on the travel to work topic at ONS and Census 2011 articles produced included Method of Travel to Work, Distance Travelled to Work, and Cycling to Work.

Regular releases of subnational data

In this section we list the main publications produced by the rest of ONS that include subnational breakdowns of data.

Population estimates, population projections, and population by country of birth and nationality from the Centre for Ageing and Demography give estimates of the age and sex breakdowns of the demography of regions and local authorities.

From the Centre for International Migration: long-term international migration in the Migration Statistics Quarterly Report, short term international migration, internal migration within the UK, and area of destination or origin within the UK, all provide breakdowns of migration patterns by age and sex for regions and local authorities.

Recorded crime with breakdowns of types of crimes in each police force area, and also in each Community Safety Partnership area, are published by the Centre for Crime and Justice.

Labour market in the regions of the UK presents the employment rate, unemployment rate, estimated claimant count, and breakdowns of employment such as sex, working pattern and number of hours worked, for regions, local authorities and parliamentary constituencies.

The Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES) is the official source of employee and employment estimates by detailed geography and industry, both in the Employees in the UK publication and through downloadable tables from Nomis.

Workless households for regions across the UK, and children in long term workless households gives information on the economic activity of households at a local level.

UK business; activity, size and location and Business Demography provide estimated numbers of business units split by industry, employment size band, turnover size band, region and local authority. Foreign-owned businesses in the UK gives estimates of the number of foreign-owned businesses, turnover and approximate GVA at regional level.

Regional economic activity by gross domestic product presents estimates of balanced Gross Value Added (GVA) for a variety of geographies including regions, city regions, LEPs, local authorities, and NUTS geographies. The Regional Accounts team also produce brand new estimates of quarterly regional GDP at the region level.

Employee earnings sourced from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) includes estimated hourly, weekly and annual pay, and numbers of hours worked, including breakdowns by age, sex, industry, occupation, and local authorities. This also includes analysis of low and high pay with reference to the National Minimum Wage, and of the gender pay gap between women and men.

Regional gross disposable household income present estimates for regions, city regions, LEPs, local authorities, and NUTS geographies.

Total wealth in Great Britain, sourced from the Wealth and Assets Survey gives breakdowns by region.

House price statistics for small areas in England and Wales presents median house prices, and number of house transactions, down to the Lower-Layer Super Output Area (LSOA) geography. Leasehold and freehold residential property transactions in England and Wales presents data for Combined Authority, local authority and MSOA geographies, and housing affordability in England and Wales compares house prices to earnings to calculate a housing affordability ratio in local authorities.

UK house building data, gives quarterly and annual time series data on the building of new housing in the UK, its constituent countries and English regions, including starts and completions.

Numbers of conceptions, births, still births, and total fertility rate, marriages (including same-sex couples), and deaths all available for regions and local authorities.

Life expectancy statistics investigate the life expectancy, healthy life expectancy, and disability-free life expectancy including breakdowns by region and local authority. Cancer survival index for CCGs.

Personal well-being publications provide estimated levels of happiness, anxiety, and feelings of life satisfaction for regions and local authorities.

Regional Public Sector Finances provide estimates of revenues and expenditures, and net fiscal surplus, by the public sector in each region. Public sector employment adds to this information with estimated numbers of people employed in the public and private sectors in each region.

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4. Access to sources of subnational data

ONS provides a number of mechanisms for users to access smaller breakdowns of data, or the datasets themselves, in addition to the standard publications and published tables.

Nomis offers free access to detailed and up-to-date statistics from official sources. You can download summary reports and aggregate results for a wide range of geographic definitions according to your requirements. Topics include data on the labour market, business activity, population, and Census tables.

Customise My Data is our new beta website which allows you to filter data from a variety of different ONS datasets to extract data meeting your requirements. Topics include data on earnings, wellbeing, population and ageing. More data continues to be added.

The Open Geography Geoportal provides free and open access to the definitive source of geographic products including lookups, shapefiles and databases. Commonly used products include the National Statistics Postcode Lookup, the Code History Database, Standard Area Measurements, and shapefiles for local authority districts, MSOAs, and LSOAs.

The Secure Research Service (SRS) gives accredited or approved researchers secure access to de-identified, unpublished, record-level data in order to work on research projects for the public good. After submitting an application to conduct a research project, researchers can conduct their own bespoke analysis using datasets from our data catalogue (XLS, 29.6KB) and create outputs based upon the needs of the project.

The Data Science Campus make use of new technologies, methodological approaches, and statistical techniques to create new insights from data, and to provide training and guidance to analysts in Data Science approaches. New projects and collaborations can be proposed for the Campus to investigate through their contact details.

The Centre for Subnational Analysis is working on a data dashboard to allow users easy access to ONS data for subnational geographies. This will present summary statistics across a wide range of topics for local or regional authority geographies and provide links directly through to the source data for potential further investigation. We hope to make this available to users in the coming months.

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5. Engagement and contacting us

We circulate a newsletter every few weeks containing developments with subnational statistics across ONS, alerts to upcoming seminars or presentations of interest to subnational users, and links to the latest publications of subnational data. If you would like to receive this newsletter, please contact cities@ons.gov.uk

For further information about productivity, regional economics, spatial analysis and analysis of towns please get in touch with subnational@ons.gov.uk

For further information about city region statistics, local workshops and engagements, please email cities@ons.gov.uk

Phone: +44 (0) 1329 44 7825

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