How P² reflects changes in the UK population

Our demographics products are built on Census data. The nature of our population has changed between the 2001 and 2011 census dates. This means the new version of P² People & Places differs from the previous one.

By looking at the way the population has been coded we could identify some key differences.

  • The population distribution across the various P2 Trees
  • What the old P² Trees have become
  • What the new P² Trees are made of

The graphs and charts show these population percentages and the "Old to New" and "New from Old" movements.



New P² has more Trees and Branches. The split of the population is more uneven. Two Trees account for over 40% of the UK population. The differences between the top and bottom Trees has become larger since 2001.

  • In 2001 average annual income was £25,000. The highest A Tree was less than twice as likely to have an income greater than this average. The lowest M Tree was half as likely to have an average income.
  • In 2011 average annual household income was £32,000. The highest A Tree is twice as likely to earn £50K and four times as likely to earn £75K. The lowest O Tree is twice as likely to earn less than £12.5K.
  • In 2001 the A Tree was more likely to be over 35 with average numbers of children. The M Tree was more likely to be over 65 with low numbers of children.
  • In 2011 the A Tree was more likely to be over 45 with school age children. The lowest O Tree was more likely to be retired with no children.
  • In 2001 the population was more evenly distributed across the Trees. Tree A, D, G and J were the four largest and reflect the old class system quite well. These four Trees account for just under half the population.
  • In 2011 the distribution has altered. Two Trees C and J dominate accounting for 40% of the population. The next largest Trees E and H add another 20% of population. All of these Trees show signs of an expanding middle class. C and E upper middle class, H and J lower middle class.


There are similarites between the old and new P² versions. The population has changed but not out of all recognition.

  • Top level Trees live in owned detached houses. They have multiple cars and drive to professional and managerial posts. These Trees read broadsheets and shop in Sainsbury or Marks and Spencer.
  • The average person lives in a semi detached house, commuting by car to white collar work in the service industry. These people will read Black Top tabloids and shop in Tesco.
  • Bottom level Trees live in rented flats. They do not have a car and are probably pensioners. If they are working it will be blue collar manual work. These Trees read Red Top tabloids and shop in Asda or Lidl.


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