Population Sources

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Public Health Observatory Population Sources

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is the main source for population estimates and projections for all Public Health Observatories (PHOs). ONS population estimates are also available on the National Centre for Health Outcomes Development (NCHOD) website. In addition to the publicly available data, PHOs also have access to a more detailed breakdown of the ONS population estimates.

The GP registers are an additional common source of population estimates for PHOs and provide estimates of the registered practice population.

Other sources of population estimates and projections include the Department for Education, the Higher Education Statistics Agency, Communities and local government, the Home Office, the Department for Work and Pensions, the Department of Health and the University of Leeds. (This list is not exhaustive).

A Summary of population estimates and Summary of population projections are available.

Office for National Statistics (ONS) website

The ONS produces mid-year population estimates of the resident population annually. The definition of the resident population includes all people who usually live there, whatever there nationality. Members of the armed forces stationed in the UK are included and UK forces stationed outside the UK are excluded. Students are taken to be resident at their term time address. With the exception of Middle Super Output Area (MSOA) and Lower Super Output Area (LSOA) mid-year population estimates, ONS population estimates published on the ONS website are rounded to the nearest 100. Mid-year population estimates are produced for a range of geographies (country, local authority, health authority/board and Primary Care Trust (PCT)) by age and sex. Experimental population estimates (statistics in the testing phase which are not fully developed) are also available.

The ONS produces population projections every two years. The projections take the latest mid-year population estimates as a starting point and projects 25 years in the future.


Additional breakdowns of ONS population estimates only available to PHOs

In addition, to the publicly available data, PHOs also have access to a more detailed breakdown of the ONS population estimates. This includes MSOA and LSOA population estimates by single year of age.


National Centre for Health Outcomes Development (NCHOD)

ONS population estimates are also available on the NCHOD website. These data are un-rounded. Data is available at national level, government office region, ONS area classification, Strategic Health Authority, Local Authority, PCT and county, by quinary age group and sex

  • Population estimates (found under Compendium of population health indicators, Geography, demography and socio-economic factors, Population, Estimates of resident population)

University of Leeds

In July 2010, as part of an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded research programme, the University of Leeds produced population projections by local authority, age and ethnicity for the years 2001-2051.

YHPHO has produced briefings based on these projections for local authorities in Yorkshire & the Humber.


GP registers

There are different sources from which the practice populations maybe obtained (depending on the piece of work).

The Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) is available from 2005 onwards. No age or sex breakdown is available.

The Attribution dataset (ADS) is available by SHA and PCT by gender and quinary age group. The data are constrained to the ONS estimates.


Department for Education (DfE)

School populations are provided by the Department for Education by sex, single year of age and ethnicity. The data is collected in an annual school census.


Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA)

Data on students in Higher Education are provided by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). Data is available for England and University by subject of study, disability, ethnicity or qualification.


Communities and local government

Communities and local government provide data relating to deprivation, household estimates and projections, homelessness and gypsy and traveller sites.


Home Office

The Home Office provides data relating to the UK Border Agency. The data is grouped by operational control (asylum, managed migration and enforcement and compliance).


Department for Work and Pensions

The national insurance number (NiNo) scheme of non-UK nationals provides estimates of migrant workers. The data are based on adult overseas national registering for a National Insurance number for the purposes of work, benefits or tax credits.


Department of Health

Projecting Older People Population Information (POPPI) produce projections of people aged over 65 by their living status, support status, health status and those with a disability.

Projecting Adult Needs & Service Information (PANSI) produce projections of people aged between 18 and 64 with a learning disability, physical disability or mental health problem.


Migration data from Migration Yorkshire

Migration Yorkshire regularly produces Local Migration Profiles that draw together a range of available migration and population data for each local authority area in Yorkshire and Humber, as well as for larger areas such as the City Regions. Free online summaries of these profiles are available on their website.

Last Updated: Thursday, 11th April 2013

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