Flow data home

Frequently asked questions

About the data

Getting access to the data

Using the data

Other Census data resources


About the data

What are the Census flow data?

The Census flow data are data about moves between two locations. These include migration flows and journeys to work. They are also referred to as 'origin-destination data' and 'interaction data'.

What data are available?

The Flow Data Service provide access to data from the 1981, 1991, 2001 and 2011 Censuses, as well as additional non-Census data. For full details of the hosted data sets, see available data.

Are all the datasets from 2011 Census already available?

Yes, the entirety of 2011 Census open and safeguarded tables have been released via the queryable WICID tool and as static downloads. The first batch of 2011 Census data was released in late July 2014 and we continued to publish new tables until mid-2015. More data might be released in the future in cases such as if ONS decides to reclassify some secured tables to safeguarded. However, no such plans are currently in place.

Getting access to the data

Who can access the Census data provided by the Flow Data Service - do I need a username/password?

Explicit registration is no longer required for most of the census data products. However, outputs from the 2011 Census tagged as 'safeguarded' require users to agree on additional terms and conditions. Access to these datasets will be permitted via Federated Access. We will provide more information and links as soon as the first safeguarded data will be made available.

What is Federated Access?

Federated Access is also known as:

It allows users to securely access external services using the same username and password as they do for local services at their institution. Most institutions use Federated Access. Further details about the UK Federation: http://www.ukfederation.org.uk/

Users can be granted access to the 'safeguarded' datasets if they are:

The above indicative list is not exhaustive.

Using the data

How do I get the Census flow data?

The Flow Data website provides three routes to the data.

I have access to the safeguarded data. What are the conditions of use of safeguarded 2011 census flow data?

Other Census data resources

What other Census resources are there?

The Census Support Service is coordinated by Professor John Stillwell of the University of Leeds.

Access to aggregate census statistics, microdata from the samples of anonymised records and boundary data is through the UK Data Service Census Support website which can be accessed by clicking on the logo in the top left of this screen.