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

Changes to UK detailed migration outputs

England, Wales and Northern Ireland held their censuses in March 2021. Scotland held its census in March 2022. As a result of these two reference periods, detailed migration statistics for 2021 will be produced using census data for England, Wales, and Northern Ireland where possible. Detailed migration statistics for Scotland for the period 2022 will be published by National Records of Scotland.

We will continue to work closely with our partners National Records of Scotland and Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency to harmonise our detailed migration statistics where possible.

Detailed migration datasets for Census 2021

The characteristics we plan to include in the person level detailed migration datasets are:

  • age and sex

  • family status

  • ethnic group and age

  • ethnic group and the National Statistics Socio-economic classification (NS-SeC)

  • NS-SeC

  • economic activity

  • long-term health problem or disability

The characteristics we plan to include in the detailed migration datasets at household level or Household Reference Person (HRP) level are:

  • dependent children by age of HRP

  • household composition

  • economic activity of HRP

  • NS-SeC of HRP

  • tenure

Our aim is to produce datasets from country level to the lowest level of geography possible, while still protecting people's confidentiality.

The Census 2021 detailed migration datasets and their characteristics are similar to those produced for the 2011 census. This will help people using the data to compare it between the two censuses.

Release plans

We plan to begin releasing detailed migration datasets in 2023.

More information

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