Rural Evidence Hub

What is the Rural Evidence Hub?

The purpose of the Rural Evidence Hub is to provide an evidence base of high quality information and knowledge about rural England for both Defra and external stakeholders.

The Hub contains maps and statistical information, in a searchable format.

The Hub helps Defra to:

  • Identify the needs of rural areas, grounded on clear and compelling evidence, that allows Ministers and staff to develop a clear and cogent case.
  • Develop policies and programmes to meet those needs.
  • Monitor progress in delivery of those needs.

The Hub is also accessible to stakeholders external to Defra.  Please see below for details on how to access the Hub.

What Information is Available?

Data has been collected from many contributors, including the ONS, CRC, Home Office, CACI and NOMIS.  The Hub covers the following topics:

  • Benefits
  • Business
  • Care
  • Commuting
  • Crime
  • Demographics
  • Deprivation
  • Economic Activity
  • Education
  • Employment
  • Environment
  • Family and Household Composition
  • Health
  • Housing
  • Income and Earnings
  • Qualifications
  • Social Capital
  • Socio-Economic Classification
  • Training
  • Travel and Transport

The Hub does not contain dedicated agricultural statistics, which can be found in the Food and Farming section of Defra’s website.

All of the data published on the Hub has been mapped to standard geographies and can be queried with respect to the official ONS rural-urban definition and Local Authority classification.

Information for specific geographic areas and/or particular statistics and the data can be viewed:

  • In tabular form
  • Mapped in graphical form
  • Downloaded for inclusion in your own documents

The most recent data on the Hub is from 2005 and currently no further updates are planned.  Please contact Rural Statistics Unit (see bottom of page) with specific data queries that are not available from the Rural Evidence Hub.


Who has Access to the Rural Evidence Hub?

First time users: to sign up to use the Rural Evidence Hub, please email this form (PDF 40KB) to  

External (Gateway) Users:
Currently only registered external users have access to the Rural Evidence Hub through the GI-Gateway. These include Policy Makers and Deliverers of Rural Policy in the regions. However, as the project develops this user base will increase. Registered external users can access the Hub through this link: Rural Evidence Hub - online

Internal (Defra) Users:
Defra users (those with access to Defra's Intranet) should access the Hub thorough the Intranet link: Internal - Rural Evidence Hub (and then click 'enter the site here' - internal users do not need to register).

There is also a tutorial guide (PDF 1.97MB).

You can email Defra's Rural Statistics Unit or telephone us on 01904 455251.

Page last modified: 18 August, 2010
Page published: 10 December, 2002