I am looking for the latest UK population data at the lowest possible level (output area?) to include age profile breakdowns (eg 18-25, 25-30, 30+ etc).

Naturally I have googled the topic, and I'm totally baffled by the range of organisations who potentially provide this information:

  1. ONS
  2. NOMIS
  3. Data.gov.uk
  4. scotlandscensus.gov.uk
  5. National Records of Scotland
  6. Stats Wales
  7. Data Cymru
  8. Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency
  9. ukdataservice.ac.uk
  10. UN Stats
  11. Ordnance Survey (for boundary data)

I've hunted around all their sites but wanted to post a question here to get a definitive answer on which is the most suitable source for UK population data, whether that means the last census counts (2011) or the latest estimates.

Ideally I'd like results at postcode level since these are so easy to map and process, but output area would also be suitable, and I'm aware it's quite easy to find output area boundaries and population weighted centroids.

1 Answer 1


Sadly as you may have spotted statistics is a devolved issue in the UK so there is no one central source. Also since the UK only holds censuses every 10 years for recent data you are stuck with estimates as there is no central citizen registry.

For England and Wales you can get ward and super output level estimates for 2016 from ONS for the 5 year bands it looks like you will need to use MSOAs.

National Statistics for lower layer Super Output Areas (LSOAs) by broad age groups and middle layer Super Output Areas (MSOAs) by five-year age groups (quinary ages)

For Scotland you need National Records of Scotland who consider 2014 the most recent and report the values for "2001 Data Zones"

For Northern Ireland you need to visit the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research agency who provide 2016 estimated total population for small areas and for broad age bands.

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