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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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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The Living Costs and Food Survey (LCF)

A survey of depending patterns and the cost of living collected by interview by the ONS.

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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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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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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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