Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics Guide: www.sns.gov.uk
SCOTLAND'S STATISTICAL GEOGRAPHY
Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics has introduced two new, small-area statistical geographies to complete the Scottish statistical geography hierarchy as illustrated by the accompanying maps. The data zones and intermediate zones build on the well-established postcode and census geographies, and are now the key geographies for disseminating government statistics and for supporting policy making.
The data zone is the key small-area statistical geography in Scotland. SNS has introduced, for the first time, a common, stable and consistent, small-area geography called data zones. The data-zone geography covers the whole of Scotland and nests within local authority boundaries. Data zones are groups of 2001 Census output areas and have populations of between 500 and 1,000 household residents. Where possible, they have been made to respect physical boundaries and natural communities. They have a regular shape and, as far as possible, contain households with similar social characteristics.
Not all statistics are suitable for release at the data-zone level because of the sensitive nature of the statistics, or for reasons of reliability, and it was apparent that a statistical geography between data zone and local authority was required. The intermediate zones are aggregations of data zones within local authorities and contain between 2,500 and 6,000 people.
Data zones are a small geographic area and can be used to best-fit other geographies not in the statistical hierarchy (postcode unit - census output area - data zone - intermediate geography - local authority - Scotland). SNS includes best-fit statistics for health board areas and Scottish Parliamentary constituencies by aggregating the data zones which best describe these areas.
Improving Standards and Access
Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics' geographies are increasingly recognised as the 'industry standard' and making the SNS geographic information freely available has been welcomed. This allows public and private sector organisations to efficiently, and effectively, share information.
HOW CAN THE SNS INTERNET SITE HELP ME?
The Area Browser gives a quick introduction to the type of statistics included in Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics and generates area profile reports. A selection of indicators have been pre-defined for this profile report which allows comparisons to be made between a single data zone, Scottish Parliamentary constituency and the local authority it falls in.
In three easy steps the Area Reporter allows multiple areas and statistics about these areas to be selected and analysed in a tabular and geographic format.
Step 1: Select the area of interest
Select the geography of interest (e.g. data zone, local authorities) from the pull-down list and then select the zones of interest on either the map or look-up table, or by cutting and pasting. You may also register with the website to allow you to recall a geography created at a previous session.
Step 2: Select the data of interest
Select the data of interest from a wide range of socio-economic reports or indicators. Indicators from a range of topic areas may be selected at the same time. Important information about the indicators and reports can be easily accessed.
Step 3: View the results
Results are automatically displayed in a tabular format for the individual areas selected; these can be summarised into statistics for the complete area selected.
Results can also be displayed in a thematic map which shows the boundaries of the areas selected and with background mapping down to street level.