From 5 November to 18 December 2020, we invited views on our Census 2021 Output Geography Policy, products and services.

This public consultation outlined our plans for the dissemination of Census 2021 statistics and our proposed Census Geography Policy. The geography policy focused largely on our plans for maintaining small area geographies; Output Areas (OAs), Lower Layer Super Output Areas (LSOAs) and Middle Layer Super Output Areas (MSOAs). We also set out our plans for producing geography products and services.

Anyone could take part in the consultation that was conducted online using Citizen Space. The resulting feedback is being used to help us prioritise our future research and development of Census 2021 geography outputs.

This report, published on 12 March 2021, presents the Office for National Statistics’ (ONS) summary and full response to the consultation.

Thank you to everyone who gave us their view by responding to the consultation.

Next steps

Incorporating the feedback provided in the consultation, we intend to:

  • proceed with our proposed Census 2021 Output Geography Policy
  • implement our recommendation for a refinement to the OA best-fit approach for producing ward and parish census statistics
  • consider boundary changes and reflect the geographies in place at the time of the release of census outputs
  • consider what supporting information can be produced to inform users of boundary changes
  • keep users informed about plans to release census outputs for 1 kilometre grid squares
  • produce OA, LSOA and MSOA lookups to assist users in identifying if current geographies are comparable from 2011 to 2021
  • consider any additional requirements mentioned by users
  • discuss options for producing a comparable UK small area geography for Scotland and Northern Ireland with the devolved administrations

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In the spring/summer 2021, the ONS will consult with the public on the proposed wider Census 2021 Outputs and dissemination plans. This formal consultation will be available to access via the Census transformation programme’s consultations page on the ONS website.

Contact us

If you have any questions about the Census 2021 Output Geography Policy, products and services consultation or response, please contact