These more detailed tables are accessible only under terms and conditions, and were released from November 2014. These tables are not in the public domain with equal access to all. Access to these tables are via services provided by ONS and UK Data Service. Different access arrangements are needed to maintain public confidence in how ONS protects confidentiality of data while providing access to a wide range of users.

For more information you can download the Origin-destination data: User guide (1.29 Mb Pdf) and view all origin and destination data table layouts.

Access via UK Data Service

The complete set of safeguarded tables (circa 200) are available to academic and public sector researchers through the web-based interface to Census Interaction Data (WICID) system managed by the UK Data Service. Users can also download the datasets in full in both CSV and SASPAC formats. SASPAC is tool developed by the Greater London Authority specifically for use with Census datasets.

Researchers wishing to use the UK Data Service will need to register and accept terms and conditions before accessing and downloading data through WICID. All members of UK Higher Education (HE) belong to the UK Access Federation and these credentials enable access to the UK Data Service by academic researchers in HE. Public sector users need to obtain a UK Data Archive username and password and then use these to register with the UK Data Service. All users must agree to the terms and conditions of the UK Data Service End User Licence before data can be accessed and downloaded. Data sharing is permitted between individuals that have registered with UK Data Service and agreed to the End User licence. Public sector bodies can share the data with contractors under certain conditions.

Users of these data are reminded that these data can be used only for the purposes of not-for-profit research or teaching or personal educational development. The data may be shared with anyone who has registered with the UK Data Service and accepted the terms and conditions stipulated in the End User Licence. These data cannot be freely published and are not covered by Open Government licences.

Results of analyses which aggregate geographies and/or categories of variable may be shared with anyone, so long as these results are appropriately protected not to identify individuals, households or organisations. Appropriate protection in this case has been deemed by the Data Owners to be the protection of any cell count lower than three. There is no requirement to round - though if users wish to do that, that is their choice. Users could suppress any counts lower than 3, or replace any 1s or 2s by a 0 or 3. These are not prescriptive; users may find other methods more satisfactory. Any data that are derived and then shared or published must not permit reworking back to the original data. ONS and UK Data Service will take action in the event of a breach of the terms and conditions of the End User Licence.

Find out how to register and information on how to access the origin destination data in WICID.

Access in the ONS VML

Researchers are able to access safeguarded 2011 Census tables and historical census microdata within the ONS Virtual Microdata Laboratory based in the ONS London office. Terms and conditions similar to those of the UK Data Service are applied. Special application procedures, approval processes and disclosure checks on output apply. There is no requirement for researchers to apply for the status of Approved Researchers; this is only necessary if users wish to access secure data in an ONS VML environment.

Researchers can request access to the ONS VML by emailing the VML admin team - Researchers will be issued with a Data Access Agreement for signature and return. After application approval a VML account will be set up and the researcher will be invited to attend a mandatory security briefing and training session. Applications will normally be processed, and a date offered, within two weeks of submission.

A date and time for a research session will be offered, usually on the same day as the training. Because users of safeguarded data cannot be in the VML alongside approved researchers, dedicated sessions for safeguarded users can be held only on Mondays.

The outputs generated by research in the VML will be supplied to the researcher on request. ONS, NISRA and NRS, as appropriate, will conduct checks to ensure that the outputs are within the scope of the project and that it is not possible to reproduce the raw data from them.


  • Priority release 1 – Available November 2014

  • Priority release 2 – Available 3 December 2014

  • Remaining UK safeguarded tables – Available 18 December 2014

  • Remaining England and Wales safeguarded tables – Available 5 February 2015

Further information on data sharing

The following are required procedures to enable a public body to share 2011 Census Origin Destination safeguarded data with a contractor or independent research organisation.

  1. For UK and England and Wales data the sponsoring public body must contact ONS at and provide details of the proposed data sharing as set out in items 3 and 4. The email should be titled "Sharing Origin Destination Data". If data is only required for Northern Ireland or Scotland please contact and respectively.

  2. Members of the contractor or independent research organisation, hereafter referred to as the external data user, to individually register with UK Data Service and each accept the standard End User Licence; UKDS to confirm this to ONS.

  3. The sponsoring public body (eg a local authority) must arrange for a contract or Memorandum of Understanding to be in place with the organisation of the external data user; that specifies the work to be done/reason for funding.

  4. Such documentation must set out:

    4.1 The names of individuals who will access the data (and be updated with any changes)
    4.2 The period of time for which the data will be required by these individuals
    4.3 The data to be transferred
    4.4 A detailed description of how the data will be transferred
    4.5 Limitations on its use (eg access only by named individuals, no unauthorised sharing, no reuse outside project etc)
    4.6 How the data will be protected (eg secure storage; limited access to servers/folders)
    4.7 The UKDS EUL Terms and Conditions.

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