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National Statistics Postcode Products

The ONS Postcode Directory (ONSPD) is a key ONS Geography product and is used by a variety of customers, including central and local government, private industry and academia.

It links all current and terminated UK postcodes to the administrative, health and other geographic areas in which each postcode falls.

Users should note that postcodes that straddle two geographic areas will be assigned to the area where the mean grid reference of all the addresses within the postcode falls.

The ONSPD is a Gridlink® branded product that pulls together data from members of the Gridlink® Consortium (Royal Mail, Ordnance Survey, National Records of Scotland, Land & Property Services (Northern Ireland) and ONS).

The National Statistics Postcode Look-up (NSPL) should be used by producers of National Statistics to allocate their source statistics at postcode level to a wide range of higher geographies.

The NSPL does this by allocating UK postcodes to Output Areas (OA). These OAs are then referenced to a wide range of higher geographies, for example local authorities, by a best-fit methodology that uses 2001 Census population data.

The methodology used within the NSPL to allocate postcodes to higher geographies is different from that used in the ONS Postcode Directory.

A list of the fields that comprise each version is included in the Postcode Products Order Forms, available from the Downloads section.

Information on the latest postcode changes is available on the Royal Mail website.

Product details

Postcode products are released quarterly in February, May, August and November.

ONS Intellectual Property in the postcode products is supplied under Open Government Licence terms (see Downloads section). Please note that additional license terms apply to Northern Ireland data contained in the products and this data is supplied under a Land & Property Services (LPS) End User Licence (see Downloads section). Customers wishing to use Northern Ireland data for commercial purposes should contact LPS directly to obtain the appropriate licence.

ONSPD samples are also available to download. These are taken from February 2011 and are for viewing only.

Postcode products are provided in all the following formats: MS ACCESS, DBF, TXT, and CSV and are supplied zipped on CD-ROM (containing all formats) or unzipped on DVD-ROM (containing all formats).

Version Notes and a User Guide, providing additional information about the products, are included with the data and are available to download.

Availability and cost

The ONSPD and NSPL are available at 1 metre resolution with UK coverage only.

Products can be ordered by completing the order form (see Downloads section) and returning to ONS Geography by email.

Customers may take either or both products at a cost of £200 + VAT for 4 quarterly supplies.


The postcode products are available to download free of charge for academic users who have completed the Athens registration process.

Registration is only available to those carrying out academic work in UK Higher and Further Education, and some Research Council staff.

Postcode products can be accessed via UKBORDERS on the University of Edinburgh website.

Content from the Office for National Statistics.
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