Analysis of responses to the 2013 Consultation regarding the redraw of Data Zones

This report provides an analysis of responses to the 2013 Consultation regarding the redraw of Data Zones. It provides an analysis of the views received, and highlights trends and issues where appropriate. Detailed analysis of the responses to the consultation paper was conducted by Scottish Government during the first half of 2014.

Other findings

More than one respondent raised the following general comments:

Respondents asked for clarification of how 2011 Data Zones will affect SIMD 2012: 2011 Data Zones will not affect SIMD 2012 due to the fact that SIMD 2012 uses 2001 Data Zones as a base data set and statistics will not be recalculated for 2011 Data Zones.

Some responses referred to the discontinuity of spelling and naming of Data Zones. All future references to Data Zones will be either 2001 Data Zones or 2011 Data Zones.

2011 Data Zones were built up from 2011 Census Output Areas (COAs) and met tight constraints on population thresholds. The aim was to build 2011 Data Zones by grouping together COAs with similar social characteristics, for Data Zones to have a fairly compact shape, and to take account of physical boundaries, such as railway lines.

A number of respondents suggested some reallocations of 2011 Census Output Areas (COAs) for specific 2011 Data Zones, while a few others also raised issues relating to COAs boundaries. On the latter point, while the set of 2011 Census COAs cannot be changed, NRS will review the boundaries of the underlying postcodes to see if they can be improved.

Users were consulted about the general approach to the COA geography for the 2011 Census through a number of formal consultation rounds - further details on these can be found on the NRS website:

In addition, a Census Outputs Geography Working Group was established to provide NRS with expert advice on geographical issues relating to 2011 Census Output Areas:


Email: David Duncan-Fraser

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