Detailed migration statistics provide the characteristics of people or households who have moved within England and Wales, or from another country into England and Wales, during the year before Census 2021. People who move within or between England and Wales are called internal migrants. People who move from another country outside the UK into England and Wales are called external migrants.

Census 2021 detailed migration outputs for England and Wales

Census 2021 detailed migration outputs were released on 6 September 2023 on the NOMIS website. We have also published a bulletin to accompany the data on the ONS website.

We have outlined the variables and classifications included in the detailed migration datasets in the corresponding tabs of the Detailed migration specifications spreadsheet (XLSX 172KB).

Census 2021 does not record the moves of those aged under one year on Census Day (21 March 2021) because they do not have an address one year ago. An estimate was made for these moves in 2011, but this has not been done for 2021.

We had combined UK internal migration data in 2011 for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, but we did not have this data in 2021. For 2021, we do not have data for Northern Ireland (because of differences in data processing schedules) or Scotland (because Scotland held their Census in March 2022). This means outflow counts exclude people who lived in England and Wales the year before Census 2021 but had moved to Northern Ireland, and Scotland, before 21 March 2021.

UK detailed migration outputs

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland the census was conducted in March 2021. In Scotland the decision was made to move the census to March 2022 because of the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This difference needs to be taken into account when performing any UK-wide analyses using census detailed migration data. 

Our Census 2021 detailed migration statistics cover England and Wales. We will aim to add census data for Northern Ireland when they are available. Detailed migration statistics for Scotland for 2022 will be published by National Records of Scotland.

More information

If you have any questions about Census 2021 detailed migration products, please email census.customer.services@ons.gov.uk.