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Release: 2011 Census, Detailed Characteristics for 2011 Census Merged Wards and Middle Layer Super Output Areas in England and Wales

Released: 12 July 2013

In this release

This release provides the first detailed cross tabulations of two or more topics from the census for Middle Layer Super Output Areas (MSOAs) and for 2011 Census Merged Wards. The Detailed Characteristics tables that are included focus on the topics of Ethnicity, Identity, Language, Religion, Health, Unpaid care and Housing. They provide the same statistics for MSOAS and 2011 Census Merged Wards that were published 16 May and 28 June for local authorities.

Analysis of these topics was included in previous releases in a series of short stories focusing on migration, religion and health and on housing.

The level of detail included in Detailed Characteristics tables means that, in order to prevent disclosure of individuals information, these tables are only produced for areas that have minimum population thresholds of 1,000 persons or 400 households. Some wards fall below this threshold. In these cases the ward is merged with a neighbouring ward, or wards, until the combined Census estimate for the merged wards is above both the minimum person (1,000) and household (400) threshold. Detailed characteristics are therefore produced for wards known as 2011 Census Merged Wards. The complete set of 2011 Census Merged Wards includes both those that have been merged, as well as those wards above the threshold that do not need to be merged. This gives complete coverage of England and Wales.

More information about MSOAs and 2011 Census Merged Wards is available from ONS Geography.

All 62 tables for both MSOAS and 2011 Census Merged wards are available from the Nomis website. Each table can be accessed directly using the links in the reference table (57 Kb Excel sheet)

During 2013 ONS will release further Detailed Characteristics tables for MSOAs and 2011 Census Merged Wards, and further statistics for lower levels of geography such as wards and super output areas. These will continue to provide an even richer and more valuable data source for the many users of the census.

Further information about the census estimates, including details about the methodology used and information about how other population sub-groups are counted and defined, is available in the in the 2011 Census user guide.

Further information on the fitness for purpose of the statistics in this release can be found in the Quality and Methodology Information paper (157.6 Kb Pdf) .


These National Statistics are produced to high professional standards and released according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority.

Content from the Office for National Statistics.
© Crown Copyright applies unless otherwise stated.