Skip to content

Glossary S

Related links

              A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Scottish Parliamentary Constitueny

The 73 Scottish parliamentary constituencies are used to elect members to the Scottish Parliament.
Further information about Scottish parliamentary constituencies

Scottish Parliamentary Electoral Regions

The eight Scottish parliamentary electoral regions are used for the proportional component of the elections to the Scottish Parliament. They are made up of groups of Scottish parliamentary constituencies.
Further information about Scottish parliamentary geographies

Shire county

See non-metropolitan (shire) county.

Standard Area Measurements (SAM)

Standard Area Measurements (SAM) are a definitive list of measurements for administrative and electoral areas in the UK. The measurements provided are defined by topographic boundaries (coastline and inland water) where available.
Further information about SAM

Standard Names and Codes (SNAC)

Our Standard Names and Codes (SNAC) database was an annual product containing the definitive names and codes for a range of UK geographies. From 2011 SNAC contained only frozen geographies, as the Code History Database (CHD) has replaced it for current geographies.
Further information about SNAC

Standard Statistical Region (SSR)

The eight Standard Statistical Regions (SSR) were the primary statistical subdivisions of England before the government office regions (GOR) were adopted for this purpose in 1996. They are now rarely used.
Further Information about SSRs

Standard Table Ward (ST)

Standard Table (ST) wards are those for which the 2001 Census Standard Tables are available. They are a subset of the Census area statistics (CAS) wards, with the smaller CAS wards merged to prevent data disclosure.
Further information on ST wards

Statistical Ward

Statistical wards are a variant form of electoral wards/divisions; they were introduced across National Statistics in order to minimise the statistical impact of frequent electoral ward/division boundary changes. The policy was amended in 2006, and statistical wards are no longer produced.
Further information about statistical wards

Statutory Ward

Statutory wards is another term used to describe the standard electoral wards/divisions that are defined by Statutory Instrument and used for local government elections across the UK. There are a number of other types of ward (statistical ward, Census area statistics ward (CAS ward) and Standard Table (ST ward), but these are used for statistical purposes only and are not statutory.
Further information about statutory wards


Straddling refers to the phenomenon of unit postcodes overlapping administrative (or other geographic) boundaries. This is due to the fact that postcodes are defined for mail delivery only and take no account of other geographies. However, postcodes are frequently used for referencing data so straddling creates problems when we want to relate postcode-referenced data to any of these other geographies (e.g. electoral wards).

Strategic Health Authority (SHA)

The ten strategic health authorities (SHA) in England were created in July 2006, following restructuring of the 28 SHAs originally established in April 2002. The boundaries of the SHAs were coterminous with regions (former GORs), with the exception of the South East Region, which comprised two SHAs (which were constituted from groups of local authority districts). SHAs were responsible for managing the performance of their respective primary care organisations (PCOs).  They were abolished on 31 March 2013.
Further information about English health geographies

Super Output Area (SOA)

Super output areas (SOA) are a geographic hierarchy designed to improve the reporting of small-area statistics.
- in England and Wales a lower layer (minimum population: 1000) and a middle layer (minimum population: 5000) were introduced in 2004. Unlike electoral wards, these SOA layers are of consistent size across the country and won't be subjected to regular boundary change. A decision was made not to create an upper layer in England, while in Wales an upper layer was created.
- in Northern Ireland there is a single layer of SOAs, with a minimum population of 1300
- the Scottish equivalents of SOAs are data zones (minimum population: 500) and the intermediate zones (minimum population: 2500)
Further information on SOAs


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