We maintain digital boundaries for a range of geographies to support the production of statistics.

You can find more information on the geographies in the metadata that accompanies the download files and in A Beginner's Guide to UK Geography.

Product details

We produce digital boundaries as shapefiles (a format produced by ESRI).

We create boundaries for each geography at full resolution and in a generalised format. We offer two coastal extents for the full and generalised sets: 'extent of the realm' and 'clipped to the coastline'.

The four boundary types we produce are designed to be used in different contexts (such as analysis or visualisation).

  • (BFC) Full resolution - clipped to the coastline (Mean High Water mark)

  • (BFE) Full resolution - extent of the realm (usually this is the Mean Low Water mark but, in some cases, boundaries extend beyond this to include offshore islands)

  • (BGC) Generalised (20m) - clipped to the coastline (Mean High Water mark)

  • (BUC) Ultra Generalised (500m) - clipped to the coastline (Mean High Water mark)

It is important that you understand which boundary type you need by reading the boundary guidance document.


You can download the full, extent and generalised, clipped boundaries from the Open Geography portal.

Terms and conditions of supply

Digital boundary products and reference maps are supplied under the Open Government Licence. You must use the following copyright statements when you reproduce or use this material:

Source: Office for National Statistics licensed under the Open Government Licence v.3.0

Contains OS data © Crown copyright and database right [year]