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Geographies

We work with many different geographies for our open data projects. The best geography will depend on the requirements. In the UK, geographies are complicated. On this page we will describe options at regional-scale, city-scale, sub-city-scale that we use often.

Infographic showing many different geographies in the UK
Hierarchical Representation of UK Statistical Geographies (Decemember 2019). Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2020. Produced by ONS Geography, for National Statistics.

Regional-scale

NUTS 2016

The Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS) regions are defined for statistical comparisons across Europe. NUTS1 regions include the nations and English statistical regions e.g. Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, North East, North West, Yorkshire and the Humber, East Midlands, West Midlands, East of England, South West, London, South East. NUTS2 regions include Northern Ireland, counties in England (most grouped), groups of districts in Greater London, groups of unitary authorities in Wales, groups of council areas in Scotland. NUTS3 regions include counties, unitary authorities, or districts in England (some grouped), groups of unitary authorities in Wales, groups of council areas in Scotland, groups of districts in Northern Ireland.

There are also NUTS releases for 2013, 2010, 2006 and 2003.

NUTS1 in Data Mapper NUTS2 in Data Mapper NUTS3 in Data Mapper

City-scale

Cities-scale areas can be defined in many ways. From using Local Authority boundaries, to "travel to work" areas to "functional economic areas". "Cities" may not cover all parts of a country.

OECD19

The OECD have developed a way to define functional urban areas in a consistent way across countries. Shapefiles are available by country. Their latest release of boundaries was in January 2019. Of note for us at ODI Leeds was that Bradford and Leeds have been combined into one "city" since the 2012 release.

OECD UK Urban Areas 2019 in Data Mapper

OECD12

The OECD have developed a way to define functional urban areas in a consistent way across countries. Shapefiles are available by country. Their latest release of boundaries was in January 2019. Of note for us at ODI Leeds was that Bradford and Leeds have been combined into one "city" since the 2012 release.

OECD UK Urban Areas 2012 in Data Mapper

Sub-city-scale

Parliamentary constituencies

These are areas used for voting in UK elections. They cover all land area.

PCON18

Westminster Parliamentary consistuencies as defined at December 2018. They are available to download from the ONS as:

PCON18 in Data Mapper

PCON17

Westminster Parliamentary consistuencies as defined at 31st December 2017. They are available to download from the ONS as:

PCON17 in Data Mapper

Wards

Wards19

Wards in the United Kingdom as defined at December 2019. They are available to download from the ONS as:

Wards19 in Data Mapper

Wards18

Wards in the United Kingdom as defined at December 2018. They are available to download from the ONS as:

Wards17

Wards in the United Kingdom as defined at December 2017. They are available to download from the ONS as:

Wards17 in Data Mapper

Other resources