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Census

Volume 475: debated on Thursday 15 May 2008

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what arrangements have been made for release of output area census data from the forthcoming census to businesses; and if he will make a statement. (200843)

The information falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 15 May 2008:

As National Statistician I am replying to your recent question asking what arrangements have been made for release of output area census data from the forthcoming census to businesses. (200843)

A consultation on Small Area Geographies in England and Wales ran for three months up to the end of February 2007. Its aim was to inform thinking on the future policy for small area geographies for National Statistics, and specifically the way forward on the use of Output Areas (OAs) and Super Output Areas (SOAs). Informed by this consultation it has been decided that OAs in England and Wales will remain largely unchanged from the 2001 Census.

Arrangements for the release of outputs from the 2011 Census are not yet finalised. No specific arrangements have yet been made with businesses, but consideration is being given to the requirements of commercial users of the data through ongoing consultation with user and advisory groups. Currently, an on-line consultation is being carried out to identify views and priorities from a variety of Census users, including business users, on high level output issues regarding data dissemination and media.