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 employment the week before the census in England and Wales by the distance they travelled to work. 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. In England there are 309 lower tier local authorities. These are made up of non-metropolitan districts (181), unitary authorities (59), metropolitan districts (36) and London boroughs (33, including City of London). In Wales there are 22 local authorities made up of 22 unitary authorities. Of these local authority types, only non-metropolitan districts are not additionally classified as upper tier local 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
Distance travelled to work
The distance, in kilometres, between a person's residential postcode and their workplace postcode measured in a straight line. A distance travelled of 0.1km indicates that the workplace postcode is the same as the residential postcode. Distances over 1200km are treated as invalid, and an imputed or estimated value is added.
“Work mainly at or from home” is made up of those that ticked either the 'Mainly work at or from home' box for the address of workplace question, or the “Work mainly at or from home” box for the method of travel to work question.
“Other” includes no fixed place of work, working on an offshore installation and working outside of the UK.
Distance is calculated as the straight line distance between the enumeration postcode and the workplace postcode.
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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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