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Definitions of terms used in the production of statistical analysis.


Electoral wards are the spatial units used to elect local government councillors in metropolitan and non-metropolitan districts, unitary authorities and the London boroughs in England. Ward population counts vary greatly but the national average is about 5,500 residents. Electoral ward/division boundary changes are usually enacted on the first Thursday in May each year, to coincide with the local government elections.As of 31 December 2011 the UK had 9,523 electoral wards/divisions. There are 22 wards in the London Borough of Hillingdon.

The variations in sizes of electoral wards - from fewer than 100 residents to more than 30,000 - means that they are not ideal for nationwide comparisons. It also means that data that can safely be released for larger wards may not be released for smaller wards due to disclosure requirements (i.e. the need to protect the confidentiality of individuals) The regular boundary changes can also create problems when trying to compare datasets over time.

Super Output Areas (SOAs)

Super Output Areas (SOAs) were created to have a geographic boundary that was not subject to regular boundary changes over time, and were consistent in size for comparative purposes. There are currently two levels of SOAs. A third and larger group of SOAs (SOA3) is proposed.

SOA1 is the lowest of the 3 levels and each SOA consists of a minimum population of 1000 people and normally an average of 1500 people. There are 163 SOA1s in Hillingdon.

SOA2 is the middle level and consists of a minimum of 5000 people with an average of 7200, and is restrained by the local authority boundaries. There are 32 SOA2s in Hillingdon.

London boroughs

  • Inner London boroughs:
    City of London, Camden, Hackney, Hammersmith and Fulham, Haringey, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, Lambeth, Lewisham, Newham, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Wandsworth and City of Westminster.
  • Outer London:
    Barking and Dagenham, Barnet, Bexley, Brent, Bromley, Croydon, Ealing, Enfield, Greenwich, Harrow, Havering, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Kingston upon Thames, Sutton and Waltham Forest.

Population and migration

The estimated resident population of an area includes all people who usually live there, whatever their nationality. Members of UK and non-UK armed forces stationed outside the UK are excluded. Students are taken to be residents at their term time address. Population estimates do not include people who are in the UK for less than 6 months.

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Article utilities:  Bookmark and Share Print Print this page Last updated: 27 Jun 2013 at 16:28