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Opportunities and Challenges of the 2011 Census: A view from academia. Tony Champion firstname.lastname@example.org Paper for the TWRI Policy & Research Conference ‘Making best use of the 2011 Census’, St William’s College, York, 5 October 2012. Introduction 1.
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Paper for the TWRI Policy & Research Conference ‘Making best use of
the 2011 Census’, St William’s College, York, 5 October 2012
Academic users of the Population Census cover a wide range of interests, but these can be summarised under three main sets of purposes:
1) Deriving descriptive contextual information on populations of interest;
2) Analysing data to improve our understanding of UK society and how it is evolving, often using advanced quantitative techniques;
3) Benchmarking other surveys to ensure that they represent the total population of an area.
And these are not just for ‘academic purposes’: much work is also carried out under contract for local and central government, research foundations, and the private and third sectors
Features of the census that are most prized by academics (according to submissions to the Science & Technology Committee Inquiry into the Census and Social Science and to the ONS’s Beyond 2011 Public Consultation on User Requirements) include:
- opportunities for multivariate analysis
- fine-grained geography
- high degree of accuracy even at small-area level
- ability to study change between censuses
This is reflected in their high usage of other census datasets as well as Area Tables: e.g. Origin-Destination Tables, Samples of Anonymised Records, Longitudinal Studies
The rest of this paper presents examples of benefiting from these census qualities in my previous research on these datasets, then looks forward to using the 2011 outputs
Examples from Area TablesExample 1: from Key StatisticsThe GB local authorities with the 10 highest and lowest proportions of migrant residents, 2001
Example 3: from Commissioned Area TableDistricts most affected by the out-migration of full-time students (% out-migrants aged 16-74)Darkest = 20-44%
The Samples of Anonymised Records 2001 comprise a suite of datasets: 1% Household SAR & CAMS, 3% Individual SAR & CAMS, and 5% Small Area Microdata [CAMS = Controlled Access Microdata Sample]
The SARs allows any combination of crosstabulations including some not available anywhere in Area Tables: e.g. it is the only standard census dataset where commuting and migration variables can be related
CAMS is extremely rich in detail on the characteristics and geography (e.g. LAD of address currently and one year ago and LAD of workplace)
Examples: (1) Age distribution (single-year) of one-year migrants by distance of move; (2) Length of commute by type of LAD and one-year-migrant status …
Origin & Destination Statistics comprised two main sets in 2001: Special Workplace Statistics and Special Migration Statistics (plus Special Travel Statistics in Scotland)
One major use of SWS has been for Travel to Work Areas (TTWA) & other regionalisations like City Regions (CRs) by Mike Coombes et al (Newcastle University)
In recent work Mike and I compared commuting patterns across 3 censuses to look for any tendency for ‘Pennine England’ to become a more integrated polycentric region
One use of the SMS has been to track attraction and retention of migrants by skill group, 2001, seeing how other large Cities compare with and relate to London …
Cities are defined as Core City admin. areas; in total the City Regions include 44 other local admin. areas (identified by meta-analysis of other definitions)
The ONS Longitudinal Study was set up in the 1970s mainly for relating death events and notifiable diseases to Census-derived socio-demographic characteristics
It comprises a ca-1% sample of people’s anonymised records linked across the 1971 & following censuses, allowing tracking of people’s social & spatial mobility
Extremely powerful source for following people’s life courses and relating their several ‘biographies’ to each other, e.g. re family/household, occupation, whereabouts
Examples: (1) Working career progression, e.g. chance of rising from White Collar Non-core to Core 1991-2001, by place of residence; (2) Length of stay in the ‘escalator region’ of SE England after migrating there 1966-71 …
Example from ONS-LS 1 (b):Probability of WC Non-core starters becoming WC Core by end of decade (out of all those still in work, stayers only)
The ‘escalator region’ hypothesishas it that people moving to the South East early in their working lives (most of the 3,136) will stay there for most of their careers to benefit from its better prospects, but many had departed within 15 years of arriving.
Once again, merely a personal research agenda, which will no doubt be much multiplied across the academic community
Using the Area Tables to monitor the ‘state of British cities’, building on the demographic and economic analyses carried out for the English SOCR
Using the ODS to update and extend the previous work on the changing nature of polycentric urban regions
Using the ONS LS to probe further the relationships between social and spatial mobility, with a particular focus on the experience of immigrants (by year of arrival in UK)
Using the Area Tables and SARs to explore the results flowing from other ‘new’ questions on, e.g., visitors, second addresses and alternative population bases
Using SARs and LSs to test for post-1970 change in within-UK migration rates by population sub-group
Responding to opportunities for providing info to central and local government, etc., for planning & policy purposes
Trying to ensure as much benefit as possible from the 2011 Census outputs to help make the case for a 2021 Census