Revising small area statistics geographies – data zones and intermediate zones: consultation

Data Zones and Intermediate Zones are small area geographies used in the production of official statistics in Scotland. They were first introduced in 2004 and revised in 2014. The purpose of this consultation is to seek feedback from users on proposals to update these geographies.

Responding to this consultation

We are inviting responses to this consultation by 1st October 2024.

Please respond to this consultation using the Scottish Government’s consultation hub. Access and respond to this consultation online. You can save and return to your responses while the consultation is still open. Please ensure that consultation responses are submitted before the closing date of 1st October 2024.

We intend to begin reviewing responses whilst the consultation is open, to ensure that the finalised boundaries can be published as quickly as possible once the consultation has closed.

If you wish to make suggested changes to the proposed Data Zones, please provide an explanation of the statistical benefits that would result from altering the boundaries. The most appropriate format for responses is a table, which could be in Excel format (a template is provided with the downloadable boundaries). The table should include the Output Area code, the proposed Data Zone code to which is has been assigned, and the code for the Data Zone into which you would like the Output Area to be moved (see example below), along with a short explanation of the rationale for the change. If you wish to create brand new Data Zones, please create new unique codes (for example, by adding a suffix to one of the proposed Data Zone Codes).

Example requesting a change to move an Output Area

Output Area Code: S00136216

Proposed Data Zone Code: DZ330141

Preferred Data Zone Code: DZ330143

Reason: To align Data Zones more closely with community boundaries

Similarly, for Intermediate Zones, please provide a list of proposed 2022 Data Zones with their proposed Intermediate Zone assignments, and the codes for the Intermediate Zones into which you would like the proposed Data Zones to be moved.

If you are unable to respond using our consultation hub, please complete and send the Respondent Information Form to or:

Office of the Chief Statistician Scottish Government St Andrew’s House Regent Road Edinburgh EH1 3DG

Handling your response

If you respond using the consultation hub, you will be directed to the About You page before submitting your response. Please indicate how you wish your response to be handled and, in particular, whether you are content for your response to be published. If you ask for your response not to be published, we will regard it as confidential, and we will treat it accordingly.

All respondents should be aware that the Scottish Government is subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 and would therefore have to consider any request made to it under the Act for information relating to responses made to this consultation exercise.

If you are unable to respond via the consultation hub, please complete and return the Respondent Information Form included in this document.

To find out how we handle your personal data, please see our privacy policy.

Next steps in the process

Where respondents have given permission for their response to be made public, and after we have checked that they contain no potentially defamatory material, responses will be made available to the public on the consultation hub. If you use the consultation hub to respond, you will receive a copy of your response via email.

All responses will be analysed and considered along with any other available evidence to help us. Responses may be published where we have been given permission to do so.

Comments and complaints

If you have any comments about how this consultation exercise has been conducted, please send them to the contact address above or at

Scottish Government consultation process

Consultation is an essential part of the policymaking process. It gives us the opportunity to consider your opinion and expertise on a proposed area of work.

You can find all our consultations online on the consultation hub. Each consultation details the issues under consideration, as well as a way for you to give us your views, either online, by email or by post.

Responses will be analysed and used as part of the decision-making process, along with a range of other available information and evidence. This will enable us to finalise the proposed changes to Data Zone and Intermediate Zone definitions.

While details of particular circumstances described in a response to a consultation exercise may usefully inform the policy process, consultation exercises cannot address individual concerns and comments, which should be directed to the relevant public body.



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