I am looking for the surface area, and the number of premises for each UK district. The districts should be listed with their ONS codes.

Rationale: I am trying to process and aggregate Ofcom data for mobile network coverage in the UK. For the districts of the UK, they list

  • the ratio of the surface area with signal
  • the ratio of premises with signal

for each of UK's four major mobile network operators (Vodafone, O2, Three, EE). Unfortunately, Ofcom doesn't mention the totals (or at least i haven't found them).

Note: The Ofcom data is actually not distributed across UK districts throughout. Instead, it uses various levels of non-overlapping administrative units:

  • All districts of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland
  • All 'Unitary Authorities' in England
  • All metropolitan districts in England
  • All counties in England with county councils ('shires')
  • Greater London is a single row.

Luckily they are all listed with their administrative ONS codes (with the exception of greater London which is listed with an extra code '00-London'), so it should be straightforward to reproduce the Ofcom aggregation.

  • I'd start looking here : data.gov.uk/data/search
    – Joe
    Commented Dec 29, 2014 at 19:04
  • I had searched there without success. Maybe i am using the wrong search terms? E.g. various combinations of 'surface', 'area', 'premises', 'districts' result in a lot of unrelated hits. Commented Dec 29, 2014 at 19:15
  • It might be an issue with synonyms, if they have it. Eg, searching for 'rain fall' when they have data for 'precipitation'.
    – Joe
    Commented Dec 29, 2014 at 19:40
  • You appear to be referring to first level administrative divisions of the UK. For surface area, I presume you mean total land area. What do you mean by premises (e.g., number housing units)? Commented Dec 30, 2014 at 23:17
  • According to the Ofcom report (stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/market-data-research/market-data/…) they use "postal delivery points" to calculate "premises coverage" (see page 177). And i guess 'total land area' is correct. Commented Jan 3, 2015 at 0:49

1 Answer 1


Disclaimer: I want to say I am not an expert at using UK Ordnance Survey data.

As Nils pointed out, page 177 in this wifi/broadband coverage report for 2014 makes references to the number of premises (buildings). The report refers to the data source as coming from the UK Ordnance Survey. I looked at the sample datasets, and they do contain building addresses per city/county equivalent.

There are a number of licensing options. Some are free. As far as understanding the licensing of this dataset, I would start here:


On the Office of National Statistics (ONS) I searched for 'land area'. The resulting list was fairly long. I did find some CSV/Excel datasets that contained land area on at least a county equivalent.


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