As Census 2021 was during a unique period of rapid change, take care when using this data for planning purposes.
Read more about this quality notice.
This dataset provides Census 2021 estimates that classify usual residents aged 16 years and over in England and Wales by economic activity status and by country of birth. The estimates are as at Census Day, 21 March 2021.
Variable and dataset information
Census 2021 statistics are published for a number of different geographies. These can be large, for example the whole of England, or small, for example an output area (OA), the lowest level of geography for which statistics are produced.
For higher levels of geography, more detailed statistics can be produced. When a lower level of geography is used, such as output areas (which have a minimum of 100 persons), the statistics produced have less detail. This is to protect the confidentiality of people and ensure that individuals or their characteristics cannot be identified.
Lower tier local authorities
Lower tier local authorities provide a range of local services. There are 309 lower tier local authorities in England made up of 181 non-metropolitan districts, 59 unitary authorities, 36 metropolitan districts and 33 London boroughs (including City of London). In Wales there are 22 local authorities made up of 22 unitary authorities.
Census 2021 statistics are published for the whole of England and Wales. However, you can choose to filter areas by:
- country - for example, Wales
- region - for example, London
- local authority - for example, Cornwall
- health area – for example, Clinical Commissioning Group
- statistical area - for example, MSOA or LSOA
Economic activity status
People aged 16 years and over are economically active if, between 15 March and 21 March 2021, they were:
* in employment (an employee or self-employed)
* unemployed, but looking for work and could start within two weeks
* unemployed, but waiting to start a job that had been offered and accepted
It is a measure of whether or not a person was an active participant in the labour market during this period. Economically inactive are those aged 16 years and over who did not have a job between 15 March to 21 March 2021 and had not looked for work between 22 February to 21 March 2021 or could not start work within two weeks.
The census definition differs from International Labour Organization definition used on the Labour Force Survey, so estimates are not directly comparable.
This classification splits out full-time students from those who are not full-time students when they are employed or unemployed. It is recommended to sum these together to look at all of those in employment or unemployed, or to use the four category labour market classification, if you want to look at all those with a particular labour market status.
Country of birth
The country in which a person was born.
For people not born in one of in the four parts of the UK, there was an option to select "elsewhere".
People who selected "elsewhere" were asked to write in the current name for their country of birth.
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Protecting personal data
Sometimes we need to make changes to data if it is possible to identify individuals. This is known as statistical disclosure control.
In Census 2021, we:
- swapped records (targeted record swapping), for example, if a household was likely to be identified in datasets because it has unusual characteristics, we swapped the record with a similar one from a nearby small area (very unusual households could be swapped with one in a nearby local authority)
- added small changes to some counts (cell key perturbation), for example, we might change a count of four to a three or a five – this might make small differences between tables depending on how the data are broken down when we applied perturbation
Read more in Section 5 of our article Design for Census 2021.
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