Small area statistics in Scotland are normally disseminated using the Data Zone geography. Built using aggregates of Census Output Areas, data zones are large enough that statistics can be presented accurately without fear of disclosure and yet small enough that they can be used to represent communities. They are designed to have roughly standard populations of 500 to 1,000 household residents, nest within Council Areas, have compact shapes that respect physical boundaries where possible, and to contain households with similar social characteristics.
Aggregations of data zones are often used to approximate a larger area of interest or a higher level geography that statistics wouldn’t normally be available for. Data Zones represent a relatively stable geography that can be used to analyse change over time, with changes only occurring after a Census. Following Census 2011, there are now 6,976 Data Zones covering the whole of Scotland.
This page provides reference material relating to the methodological background for small area statistics in Scotland. Users should visit www.statistics.gov.scot to access Scotland's official statistics, and www.spatialdata.gov.scot to access digital map data.