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Workplace Zone (WZ)

Workplace zones (WZ) are a new output geography for England and Wales that has been produced using workplace data from the 2011 Census. It may be extended to Scotland and Northern Ireland in 2015.

WZs are designed to supplement the output area (OA) and super output area (LSOA and MSOA) geographies that were introduced with the 2001 Census. OAs were originally created for the analysis of population statistics using residential population and household data. As a result, they are of limited use for workplace statistics as there is no consistency in the number of workers or businesses contained within an OA. OAs are designed to contain consistent numbers of persons, based on where they live, WZs are designed to contain consistent numbers of workers, based on where people work. This means that WZs are more suitable for disseminating workplace-based statistics and outputs.

WZs have been created by splitting and merging the 2011 OAs to produce a workplace geography that contains consistent numbers of workers. The WZs align to the existing OA hierarchy. They have been constrained to MSOA boundaries to provide consistency between the OA and WZ geographies, and to allow comparison of the 2001 and 2011 Census workplace outputs at the MSOA level.

More information on their purpose, origin, development and production can be found in the document An overview of workplace zones for workplace statistics.

Boundaries and lookup files for the workplace zone geography can be found on the Open Geography portal .

The research on creating algorithms for the creation of the WZs was carried out by the University of Southampton, in collaboration with ONS.


Content from the Office for National Statistics.
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