Data Zones are the key geography for small area statistics in Scotland and are widely used across the public and private sector. They are large enough that statistics can be presented accurately without fear of disclosure and small enough that they can be used to represent communities. 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 at. They have roughly standard populations to allow comparison between Data Zones and static boundaries to allow tracking of change over time.
There is however a number of issues associated with Data Zones. Since their inception in 2004, there has been population redistribution and the link between Data Zones and other geographies has become eroded. This reduces the utility of Data Zones and invalidates some of the criteria used during their initial development, hence the need to redraw Data Zones.
The 2011 Population Census will provide us with the most accurate small area statistics available for some time and provide us with the unique opportunity to redraw Data Zone boundaries.
This consultation paper sets out the background to Data Zones; why Data Zones need to be redrawn; how we have produced the draft 2011 Data Zones for consultation and details of how to see them on the Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics website; and the consultation questions
The redraw process made changes (i.e. a split, merge, or correction of a multi-extent data zone) to 706 of the original 6,505 Data Zones. The remaining 5,799 have been rebuilt using the 2011 Census Output Areas on a best-fit basis. The total number of draft 2011 Data Zones is 6,940.
Responses to this consultation are invited before 12th February 2014.
Office of the Chief Statistician and Performance
October 2013Scottish Government
GWR, St Andrews House
Email: Victoria Kinnear - Lachhab