Caution should be used in interpreting this variable as a direct measure of deprivation or in comparing results with those from the 2011 Census. Please read the demography and migration quality information for Census 2021 before using this data.
Read more about this quality notice.
This dataset provides Census 2021 estimates that classify households in England and Wales by four dimensions of deprivation: Employment, education, health and disability, and household overcrowding. 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
The dimensions of deprivation used to classify households are indicators based on four selected household characteristics.
A household is classified as deprived in the education dimension if no one has at least level 2 education and no one aged 16 to 18 years is a full-time student.
A household is classified as deprived in the employment dimension if any member, not a full-time student, is either unemployed or economically inactive due to long-term sickness or disability.
A household is classified as deprived in the health dimension if any person in the household has general health that is bad or very bad or is identified as disabled.
People who have assessed their day-to-day activities as limited by long-term physical or mental health conditions or illnesses are considered disabled. This definition of a disabled person meets the harmonised standard for measuring disability and is in line with the Equality Act (2010).
A household is classified as deprived in the housing dimension if the household's accommodation is either overcrowded, in a shared dwelling, or has no central heating.
Get the data
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.
Bookmark or copy the link to return to this dataset