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Best fit of lower super output areas to built up areas

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  • Release date: 20 May 2015
  • Period covered: 2011
This report shows the calculation of a best fit for Built Up Areas at the Lower Super Output Area (LSOA) level. Given the greater range of data sources available for LSOA this may be helpful for a range of analytical and policy purposes.

Office for National Statistics have previously published the classification of Built Up Areas at the Output Area level.

Key points

  • The report provides a tool that can be used for analysing a wide range of statistical sources by settlement size. This has potential applications for examining the differences between “rural” and “urban” areas for use by analysts both inside and outside Welsh Government.
  • The best fit Built Up Area for each LSOA in Wales is shown in the published spreadsheet for analysts to use.
  • The report uses the “Built Up Areas” previously published by the Office for National Statistics and finds a best fit for the “Lower Level Super Output Areas” (LSOA) in Wales. There are 1,909 such areas in Wales with around 1,600 people in each. The best fit is a useful tool because a wide range of demographic, social, economic and deprivation data sources are available at this level. For example, results from the 2011 Census of Population and indicator data from Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation.
  • The classification shows that in Wales approximately 20 per cent of the people live in the smallest places, of under 2,000 people. A similar proportion live in the three Built Up Areas of at least 100,000 people – Cardiff, Swansea and Newport.

Feedback from users on the strengths, weaknesses and usefulness of this report is invited.


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