Demographics – census

Two key groups of characteristics go a considerable way  to explaining   the broad pattern of   behaviour of households and the people within them:

i The ‘life-stage’ of a household –  i.e. the age range of its member and  their family structure  (single, couple, with or without children etc)

ii Income, resources and social status  (social grade, occupation, employment, size  and type of house, number of cars etc) ,

Households with high income spend less on ‘essentials’ like food, than do low income households. Households with children have markedly different spending patterns from households above working age. But even within the same income and life-stage bracket,  in a  country of over 60 million  there is huge variation in what people actually do with their time and money.

The census, despite its rather limited range of questions –  listed in the table below, does provide a rich and consistent set of indicators of the lifestyle of households ‘on census night’  for the whole UK,  down through successively smaller geographies –  regions, local authority areas down to the smallest  ‘output areas’ –  averaging some 125 households, around 300 people or some 5 or 6 postcodes. Census data can be supplemented by data from household surveys, credit card databanks etc

The table of census questions is the key to understanding what kind of demographic tables and profiles can be generated for an area. The are 14 questions about the whole household and 46 questions about individuals in the household.

A host of tables can be  produced, including cross classifications such as  ‘house tenure by number of cars by social grade’ i.e. cross- classifying – household questions   H12 by H13 by H14 , and these can be aggregated for urban regions, shopping catchment areas etc.

  2011 Census Questions
Household questions The Question Examples
H1 Who lives here? Residents, visitors etc
H2 How many people live here?
H3 Their names?
H4 Who else is staying here on census night? Holiday makers, UK/non UK -based friends,
H5 How many of these are visitors?
H6 How many of the household are related to each other?
H7 What type of accommodation? House, flat , semi, detached
H8 Is the accommodation self contained?
H9 How many rooms for this household?
H10 How many bedrooms?
H11 What type of central heating? Gas, electric, oil, other
H12 Is the accommodation owned or rented?
H13 What kind of landlord? Council, housing association, employer
H14 How many cars or vans owned or available?
Person questions
P1 Name?
P2 Sex?
P3 Date of birth?
P4 Marital or civil partnership status?
P5 Do you stay at another address more than 30 days a year?
P6 What is the other         address?
P7 At school or student?
P8 Term time address?
P9 Country of birth?
P10 Date of most recent arrival if foreign born?
P12 If you arrived after census day how long to you intend to stay?
P13 How is your general health? Very good, good…very bad
P14 Do you care for any ill or old person?
P15 What is your national identity? English, Scottish, British, Other (write in)
P16 What is your ethnic group? White English/Welsh etc, Irish, Mixed White and Black, Asian Indian etc
P18 What is your main language? English, other (write in)
P19 How well can you speak English? Very well, not well, not at all etc
P20 What is your religion? None, christian, muslim, hindu, etc
P21 What was your address one year ago?
P22 What passports do you hold? UK, Irish, other (write in)
P23 Do you have a health or disability problem lasting more than 12 months? Yes, a lot, a little, no
P25 Which qualifications do you have? 1-4 GCSE,5+ GCSE A*-C,NVQ level 3,Degree etc
P26 What was your employment status last seek? Working, self employed, training scheme,none etc
P27 Were you looking for work in the last four weeks? Yes, no
P28 Could you start a job within two weeks? Yes, no
P29 Are you waiting to start a new job? Yes, no
P30 Are you retired, student or house-person etc? Retired, student, looking after home, sick etc
P31 Have you ever worked? Yes (write in most recent year), no
P33 Are you employed or self employed? Employed, self employed wihtout employees, self emplyed with employees
P34 What is your job title? Primary school teacher, structural engineer etc
P35 Describe your main job?
P36 Do or did you supervise employees?
P37 Main activity of your employer? Contract catering, local government etc
P38 What is or was the name of the organisation?
P40 What is the address of your workplace?
P41 How do you usually travel to work? Car, bus train bicycle etc
P42 How many hours a week do you work? 15 or less, 49 or more etc
V1 Name?
V2 Sex?
V3 Date of birth?
V4 Usual address?