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2011 boundaries

The digital vector boundaries for 2011 output areas, super output areas (LSOA and MSOA), workplace zones and Census merged wards for England and Wales are available for download here. These boundaries are for use in geographical information systems to carry out spatial analysis or visualisation.

The boundaries are available in Esri Shapefile and MID/MIF formats with some being in Keyhole Markup Language (KML), together with accompanying metadata in HTML and XML formats which can be displayed in any Internet browser.

Boundaries for each geography are created at full resolution, generalised (to 20 metres) and super generalised (to 200 metres) format. We offer two coastal extents for each of the resolutions: 'extent of the realm' (usually this is the Mean Low Water Mark but in some cases boundaries extend beyond this to include offshore islands) and 'clipped to the coastline' (Mean High Water Mark) giving the coastline a more orthodox appearance.

The boundary types produced are designed to be used in different contexts (such as analysis or visualisation). Note - output areas are not produced at super generalised resolution.

It is important that users understand which boundary type they require prior to download by reading the boundary guidance document contained in the Downloads section.

All these products are supplied under the Open Government Licence and Ordnance Survey Open Data terms and conditions.

2011 output areas (OA) boundary

Date last released Download formats
Full resolution, extent of the realm January 2013 shapefile (485Mb)

MID/MIF (474Mb)

Full resolution, clipped to the coastline January 2013 shapefile (469Mb)

MID/MIF (456Mb)

Generalised (20m), extent of the realm January 2013 shapefile (136Mb)

MID/MIF (133Mb)

Generalised (20m), clipped to the coastline January 2013 shapefile (40Mb)

MID/MIF (36Mb)

All files will be downloaded in Zip format.

2011 lower layer super output areas (LSOA) boundary

Date last released Download formats
Full resolution, extent of the realm January 2013 shapefile (220Mb)

MID/MIF (227Mb)

 
Full resolution, clipped to the coastline January 2013 shapefile (242Mb)

MID/MIF (239Mb)

 
Generalised (20m), extent of the realm January 2013 shapefile (103Mb)

MID/MIF (106Mb)

 
Generalised (20m), clipped to the coastline January 2013 shapefile (25Mb)

MID/MIF (25Mb)

 
Super generalised (200m), clipped to the coastline January 2013 shapefile (7Mb)

MID/MIF (7Mb)

KML (8Mb)

All files will be downloaded in Zip format.

2011 middle layer super output areas (MSOA) boundary

Date last released  Download formats
Full resolution, extent of the realm January 2013 shapefile (116Mb)

MID/MIF (118Mb) 

Full resolution, clipped to the coastline January 2013 shapefile (178Mb)

MID/MIF (210Mb)

Generalised (20m), extent of the realm January 2013 shapefile (54Mb)

MID/MIF (59Mb)

Generalised (20m), clipped to the coastlne January 2013 shapefile (12Mb)

MID/MIF (13Mb)

Super generalised (200m), clipped to the coastline January 2013 shapefile (4Mb)

MID/MIF (4Mb)

KML (4Mb)

All files will be downloaded in Zip format.

2011 workplace zones (WZ) boundary

Date last released Download formats
Full resolution, extent of the realm

January 2013

shapefile (354Mb) MID/MIF (427Mb)
Full resolution, clipped to the coastline

due March 2013

due March 2013

Generalised (20m), extent of the realm

due March 2013

due March 2013

Generalised (20m), clipped to the coastline

due March 2013

due March 2013

All files will be downloaded in Zip format.

2011 Census merged wards (CMW) boundary

Date last released Download formats
Full resolution, extent of the realm

January 2013

shapefile (85Mb)

MID/MIF (99Mb)

Full resolution, clipped to the coastline

January 2013

shapefile (89Mb)

MID/MIF (103Mb)

Generalised (20m), extent of the realm

January 2013

shapefile (9Mb)

MID/MIF (11Mb)

Generalised (20m), clipped to the coastline

January 2013

shapefile (10Mb)

MID/MIF (11Mb)



All files will be downloaded in Zip format.

2011 electoral wards (WD) boundary

Date last released Download formats
Full resolution, extent of the realm March 2013 shapefile (85Mb) 

MID/MIF (99Mb)

Full resolution, clipped to the coastline March 2013 shapefile (89Mb)

MID/MIF (102Mb)

Generalised, extent of the realm March 2013 shapefile (12Mb)

MID/MIF (13Mb)

Generalised, clipped to the coastline March 2013 shapefile (12Mb)

MID/MIF (13Mb)

All files will be downloaded in Zip format.

File Download Manager

It is suggested that a Download Manager is used to support downloading of census geography products. It is a tool that facilitates file download from the Internet. These tools are particularly useful when working with large files (such as geography spatial files) by managing the download process and managing occurrences of broken download sessions. This saves you needing to restart the download.

If you do not have a Download Manager use an Internet search engine to search 'file download manager' to discover a range of tools, both free and charged for.

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You can sign up for prospectus email alerts. These will be sent out every time the census geography prospectus content is updated. We will not use/share your details which will only be used to inform you of geography products and management of these, in line with the ONS MailChimp statement.

Content from the Office for National Statistics.
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