Bedroom Standard

A method to calculate the number of bedrooms needed.

  • Two adults living as a couple need a bedroom
  • Single adults over 21 need a room
  • Under 21's can share with a same sex relative
  • Under 10's can share with any other related under 10
  • Under 21's that are unrelated need a bedroom each


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Branches are the second tier in the P² People & Places classification. They break the population down into 44 clusters, including an Unclassified cluster.

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The British Population Survey (BPS)

A survey of household income and shopping habits collected by face to face interviews.


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The Census is conceived, collected, collated and released by three government offices covering all of the UK.

Office for National Statistics (ONS)
England and Wales

National Records Scotland (NRS)

Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA)
Northern Ireland

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 A cluster is a group of output areas that share similar characteristics. Produced by Principal Component Analysis.

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Crow fly distance

A "crow fly" distance is simply a straight line between two points. If you want to impress someone you can describe this as a "Euclidean" distance, which also simply means a straight line between two points, but "crow fly" is more commonly used. In mapping this can be a useful measure, but be wary as in many instances, particularly for journey planning, it is highly unlikely that you will be able to travel in a straight line between two locations. More advanced datasets such as our own TimeTravel travel time and distance data plot distances based on road and junction networks rather than crow fly to give a truer picture of actual distances travelled.

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A household is “deprived” if it is affected in one or more of the following ways:

Any member of the household aged 16-74, who is not a full-time student, is either unemployed or permanently sick.
No member of the household aged 16 to pensionable age has at least five GCSEs (grade A-C) or equivalent AND no member of the household aged 16 to18 is in full-time education. For Scotland, the education level is at least one Standard Grade or equivalent which is a lower level.
Health and disability
Any member of the household has general health “not good” in the year before the Census or has a limiting long-term illness
The household’s accommodation is either overcrowded OR is in a shared dwelling OR does not have sole use of bath/shower and toilet OR has no central heating.


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Geodemographics is the description of people according to the area where they live, derived from the study of spatial information. Census data, consumer data, and social attitudinal data are common forms of spatial information used to create a geodemographic classification.

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Geographical Information System (GIS)

A GIS is also known as mapping software. It captures, stores, analyses, manages and presents data which is geographically referenced. This enables users to compare their data with demographic and consumer data and visualise trends locally and nationally. Prospex is a desktop GIS produced by Beacon Dodsworth.

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Highly Qualified

 People are considered to be highly qualified if they have a degree level qualification or its equivalent.

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Income is measured as household income before tax and is broken down into bands:


  • Less than £11,499
  • £11,500 to £17,499
  • £17,500 to £24,499
  • £24,500 to £29,999
  • £30,000 to £39,999
  • £40,000 to £49,999
  • £50,000 to £74,999
  • More than £75,000

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Index values are a way of comparing two proportional values.
The index is the ratio of the two values expressed as a percentage.
Usually less than 90 is considered to be below average and more than 110 is above average.

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Job sectors

Job sectors are based on the International Standard Industrial Classification (ISIC) as used by the ONS and provided in Census data. Variables have been grouped to reflect the nature of UK employment. The service sector has some overlap with the Tourism and Knowledge intensive sectors.

ISIC code A: This covers the exploitation of vegetable and animal resources. This comprises the activities of growing crops, raising animals, harvesting plants and animals from a farm or their natural habitats.
ISIC code C: This is the mechanical, physical or chemical transformation of materials, substances or components into new products. The raw materials used are the products of agriculture, fishing, mining or quarrying.
Wholesale and retail trade, ISIC code G: The wholesale and retail of any type of goods and services incidental to the sale of merchandise, Transport and storage, Accommodation and food service, Information and communication.
Transport and storage, ISIC code H: Activities related to providing passenger or freight transport by rail, pipeline, road or air.
Tourism, ISIC code I: The provision to customers of lodging and/or prepared meals, snacks or beverages for immediate consumption.
Information and communication, ISIC code J: Publishing periodicals and books, recording and broadcasting of Film, TV and Radio, IT services and supply and Telecommunications.
Knowledge Intensive
Information and communication, ISIC code J: Publishing periodicals and books, recording and broadcasting of Film, TV and Radio, IT services and supply and Telecommunications.
Financial and insurance activities, ISIC codes K: Financial services, Inurance and Pension services and associated activities.
Real Estate activities, ISIC code L: Marketing, selling and rental services for land and property.
ISIC code I: The provision to customers of lodging and/or prepared meals, snacks or beverages for immediate consumption.


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Life Stage


A stage or phase in life - such as being single, independent and working, being a parent of young children, or being an 'empty nester' (those whose children have recently left home).

Life-stage is often more relevant and useful for classification purposes than 'hard' demographics such as age. This is because people at the same life-stage generally have far more in common than those simply of the same age.

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Limiting long-term illness

Limiting long-term illness covers any long-term illness, health problem or disability which limits the daily activities or work a person can do.

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The Living Costs and Food Survey (LCF)

The Living Costs and Food survey (LCF) records the spending and cost of living patterns that reflect UK household budgets. For an in-depth description, see our LCF blog post.

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These include newspapers such as The Times, The Guardian, The Independent and The Financial Times.
Black Tops
These include newspapers like The Daily Mail and The Daily Express.
These are also known as the red tops, such as The Sun, The Mirror, The Daily Star and The Daily Record

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Occupancy Rate

Occupancy Rate is a measure of overcrowding. The rate is calculated by taking the number of bedrooms needed according to the Bedroom Standard from the actual number of bedrooms.

An occupancy rate of 2 - indicates the dwelling has too few bedrooms and is overcrowded.

An occupancy rate of 2 + indicates the house has more bedrooms than required and is not overcrowded.

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Unskilled Manual
These are the workers, apprentices and trainees to skilled workers. This includes jobs like cleaner, porter, construction worker, machinist, mechanical fitter, gardener and warehouse worker.
Skilled Manual


This includes all skilled manual workers and those manual workers with responsibility for other people. This includes jobs like automotive technician, carpenter, electrician, aviation mechanic, plumber, pipefitter and welder.
Other White Collar
This includes jobs such as office workers that do not manage others or retail staff members.
Managerial or Professional
These are people who have professional or higher education qualifications or manage teams of these types of people who have professional or higher education qualifications. This includes jobs like accountant, architect, doctor, lawyer and vet.

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Output Areas (OA's)

Output Areas (OA's) were built from clusters of adjacent unit postcodes. They were designed to have similar population sizes and be as socially homogenous as possible (based on tenure of household and dwelling type). Most OAs consist entirely of urban postcodes or entirely of rural postcodes, avoiding urban/rural mixes where possible. They are designed to sensibly represent the geographical area that they cover and allow for the comparison of geographical areas in a robust manner.

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Principal Component Analysis

Principal component analysis is a procedure for identifying a smaller number of uncorrelated variables, called "principal components", from a large set of data. The goal of principal components analysis is to explain the maximum amount of variance with the fewest number of principal components. Principal component analysis is commonly used in the social sciences, market research, and other industries that use large datasets.

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Profiling is a way of identifying patterns in data (e.g. customer lifestyles) and using these patterns to find similar people in other geographic areas.

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Rasters are the map images within a Geographic Information System (GIS). Typically they will show geographical features, roads and buildings.

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Retail Prices Index (RPI)

The Retail Prices Index (RPI) measures inflation. The change in the cost of buying a 'standard' basket of products is calculated. RPI includes some housing costs like council tax or mortgage interest.

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A postcode sector is a collection of individual postcodes brought together to make a more practical reporting area, small enough to give geographical data but large enough to demonstrate shared trends in an area. See our postcode sector blog for an in-depth look at this.

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Trees are the first tier in the P² People & Places classification. They break the population down into 16 clusters, including an Unclassified cluster. The 16 Trees are further broken down into 44 Branches.

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At each tier of P² People & Places, there is an Unclassified cluster which describes people whose characteristics are too unique for them to fall comfortably into the standard categories. Those who are Unclassified make up 1.9% of the UK population.

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