1. What the Subnational Statistics and Analysis Division does

The Subnational Statistics and Analysis Division aims to support a wide range of users with an interest in disparities between places and provide them with statistical insight to understand local areas and to make effective decisions. Our multidisciplinary team is comprised of professionals from all four analytical professions and operational delivery. We work with teams across Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the Government Statistical Service (GSS) to create new breakdowns of data for subnational geographies, to add insight to data by linking information together to tell a coherent story, and to collaborate on creating new analysis that meets the needs we identify from subnational statistics users.

The Division covers subnational statistical development and analysis work across different areas.

The Centre for Subnational Analysis covers:

  • cities analysis

  • geographic analysis and international projects

  • Greater London economics

  • regional economic analysis

Subnational statistics and data development covers:

  • housing analysis

  • subnational statistics development and coherence

  • subnational data development (new sources and indicators)

Strategy and coordination covers:

  • GSS subnational data strategy

  • explore subnational statistics

  • subnational project management

  • business support

We produce regular outputs around housing affordability and energy efficiency and productivity, collaborate on projects with international organisations including EuroStat and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), produce bespoke outputs on cross-cutting topics, and engage in analysis directly with local authorities, city regions, and Local Enterprise Partnerships. We also conduct user groups including the Regional Geography Committee, the Combined Authorities Liaison Group, and circulate a newsletter aimed at local users.

Our international engagement on European city statistics, the International Territorial Levels geography framework and OECD territorial indicators are explained in more detail in the International, Regional and City Statistics page.

Regular publication links can be seen in the Regular releases of subnational data section.

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2. Aims of the Subnational Statistics and Analysis Division

  • To provide innovative and insightful analysis to inform subnational policymaking.

  • To work with the government and its wider organisations, city and regional stakeholders to understand their statistical and analytical requirements, and to collaborate with Office for National Statistics (ONS) and Government Statistical Service (GSS) colleagues to deliver stakeholder needs.

  • To respond to increased demand for subnational data and insights, supporting central and local government policy making (for example levelling up), with a strong co-ordination function.

  • To transform how users' access and visualise subnational data, exploiting the transformation of the ONS website and integrated data service (IDS) and Census developments to do so, with strong engagement with our users.

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3. Subnational publications and products

Publications of subnational products are created across the Government Statistical Service (GSS). In this section we break the division down into its component parts and provide links to analytical outputs that have been published by the Subnational Statistics and Analysis division, we also provide links to regular publications produced elsewhere in the Office for National Statistics (ON)S which include breakdowns of data by local geographies.

Many tables of data are also published as ad hoc releases and can be found through the list of user requested data on our website. Some of those tables include subnational breakdowns of existing statistics produced according to user requests.

GSS subnational data strategy and subnational statistics and analysis

The GSS subnational data strategy provides a framework to guide the GSS in producing and disseminating subnational statistics in a more timely, granular and harmonised way. Led by the Subnational Statistics and Analysis division, the strategy is the result of a collaborative effort across the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the wider GSS.

The strategy sets out three ambitions by building on existing good practice, showcased through case studies and guidance, while also highlighting areas for improvement to enable this transformation.

  • Produce more timely, granular and harmonised subnational statistics.

  • Build capability and capacity for subnational statistics and analysis.

  • Improve the dissemination of subnational statistics.

Together, these three ambitions constitute the vision for the creation of the Explore Subnational Statistics service, a single service for the dissemination of subnational data and statistics organised by standardised geographies and able to accommodate flexible user-defined areas. Investigation includes ​disaggregating gross value added (GVA) to lower levels.

Subnational indicators explorer

This interactive tool allows users to explore a basket of subnational indicators and find out how their local authority compares with others across the UK. The subnational indicators explorer brings together a selection of metrics for which data are available at local authority level, promoting transparency and making it easy for users to access and visualise, while linking back to the original publicly available data sources.

Cities analysis

The Cities team engages with the combined authorities across England with the purpose of understanding their analytical needs and priorities. The team signposts work that already exists, provides a gateway to other ONS teams, engages with other business areas to share intelligence, and produces new analysis and ad-hoc requests to meet those needs.

Geographic analysis and international projects

Focussing on geographies such as urban rural classifications, travel to work areas, retail geographies and International Territorial Levels (ITLs), the team works with the Geographies team to understand the impact of new methodological developments, as well as producing guidance for uses of these products. Recent releases include Coastal towns in England and Wales and High streets in Great Britain.

Greater London Economics team

The London region team has been established to support the data and analytical needs of the Greater London Authority (GLA) intelligence unit and particularly the GLA Economics team. The activities of the team are very much led by end user needs and priorities. In the past this has included resolving data queries, carrying out data extractions, facilitating training to support capacity building, analytical research and bespoke surveys.

Housing Analysis team

The Housing Analysis team produces statistics and analysis which provide insight into housing issues in the UK, from the national to the small-area level. Recent analysis includes Energy efficiency of housing in England and Wales, factors associated with energy efficiency and housing affordability (both purchases and rental).

Regional Economic Analysis team

The Regional Economic Analysis team brings together economic and social data with geospatial insight on topics such as business location, geographic mobility, productivity drivers, and understanding characteristics and performance of areas across the UK. Recent work includes a breakdown of changes in UK employment, unemployment, economic inactivity and other related statistics

Towns and High Streets team

Analysis of industry in towns and cities in England and Wales, localities in Scotland, and travel to work areas in Great Britain. Recent publications include Understanding towns: Industry analysis, Spatial Analysis​ and House Price Analysis.​

Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic analysis 2020 to 2022

In this section, we list some of the cross-cutting work achieved by the Subnational Statistics and Analysis Division.

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, we have published the following items.

Further information related to the pandemic can be found on the dedicated Coronavirus (COVID-19) web page, and is also summarised in the latest insights tool.

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4. Regular releases of subnational data

In this section we list the main publications produced by the rest of the Office for National Statistics (ONS) that include subnational breakdowns of data.

Population estimatespopulation projections, and population by country of birth and nationality from the Centre for Ageing and Demography give estimates of the age and sex breakdowns of the demography of regions and local authorities.

From the Centre for International Migration: long-term international migration in the Migration Statistics Quarterly Reportshort term international migrationinternal migration within the UK, and area of destination or origin within the UK, all provide breakdowns of migration patterns by age and sex for regions and local authorities.

Recorded crime with breakdowns of types of crimes in each police force area, and also in each Community Safety Partnership area, are published by the Centre for Crime and Justice. You may also wish to view the data tool which investigates the level of domestic abuse within England and Wales.

Labour market in the regions of the UK presents the employment rate, unemployment rate, estimated claimant count, and breakdowns of employment such as sex, working pattern and number of hours worked, for regions, local authorities and parliamentary constituencies.

The Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES) is the official source of employee and employment estimates by detailed geography and industry, both in the Employees in the UK and by region publications and through downloadable tables from Nomis.

Workless households for regions across the UK, and children in long-term workless households gives information on the economic activity of households at a local level.

UK business; activity, size and location and Business demography provide estimated numbers of business units split by industry, employment size band, turnover size band, region and local authority. Foreign-owned businesses in the UKgives estimates of the number of foreign-owned businesses, turnover and approximate gross value added (GVA) at regional level. Other sources of business productivity which may be of interest include Sub regional productivity, Non-financial business economy, UK and regional (Annual Business Survey) and Output in the construction industry: sub-national and sub-sector and the new orders in the construction industry which are both monthly publications.

Regional economic activity by gross domestic productpresents estimates of balanced GVA for a variety of geographies including regions, city regions, local enterprise partnerships (LEPs), local authorities, and Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS) geographies. The Regional Accounts team also produce brand new estimates ofquarterly regional GDP at the region level, Gross domestic expenditure on research and development, by region and International trade in UK nations, regions and cities.

Employee earnings sourced from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) includes estimated hourly, weekly and annual pay, and numbers of hours worked, including breakdowns by age, sex, industry, occupation, and local authorities. This also includes analysis of low and high pay with reference to the National Minimum Wage, and of the gender pay gap between women and men.

Regional gross disposable household incomepresent estimates for regions, city regions, LEPs, local authorities, and NUTS geographies. Other household data sets include Gross weekly earnings of full-time employees by region and the Family spending workbook 3: expenditure by region.

Total wealth in Great Britain, sourced from the Wealth and Assets Survey gives breakdowns by region.

House price statistics for small areas in England and Wales presents median house prices, and number of house transactions, down to the Lower-Layer Super Output Area (LSOA) geography. Leasehold and freehold residential property transactions in England and Wales presents data for Combined Authority, local authority and Middle-Layer Super Output Area (MSOA) geographies, and housing affordability in England and Wales compares house prices with earnings to calculate a housing affordability ratio in local authorities. Housing and dwelling stock can also be reviewed.

Numbers of conceptionsbirths, still births, and total fertility ratemarriages (including same-sex couples), and deaths are available for all regions and local authorities.

Life expectancy statistics investigate the life expectancy, healthy life expectancy, and disability-free life expectancy including breakdowns by region and local authority. Whilst other health statistics such as Avoidable mortality in the UK, Adult smoking habits in the UK and Cancer survival index for Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) can also be viewed.

Personal well-being publications provide estimated levels of happiness, anxiety, and feelings of life satisfaction for regions and local authorities.

Regional public sector finances provide estimates of revenues and expenditures, and net fiscal surplus, by the public sector in each region. Public sector employment adds to this information with estimated numbers of people employed in the public and private sectors in each region.

Electoral statistics provide electoral registrations for parliamentary and local government elections as recorded in the electoral registers

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5. Other cross-cutting analysis by the division

In this section, we present older articles produced by the Centre for Subnational Analysis that remain relevant and may be of interest to users.

The Economic Review: February 2020 included three articles covering regional analysis around the topics of economic output and productivity.

The spatial distribution of industries in Great Britain investigated both the structure of local economies and the spatial distribution of employment within specific industries, including location quotients, in the regions and Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS) 2 areas of Great Britain.

Our article Identifying Science and Technology Businesses in Official Statistics provides an approach to using the Standard Industrial Classification to analyse businesses which have a scientific or technological focus. Ad hoc tables of information have been published following this release, including numbers of employees and workplaces in Science and Technology in local authorities of the UK in 2016.

Exploring Personal Well-being and Place investigated the links between personal well-being and place through regression analysis of the Annual Population Survey Personal Well-being dataset.

Travel to work area analysis in Great Britain may be of interest to users who make use of the Office for National Statistics (ONS) travel to work areas (TTWA) in their work.

Census 2011 analysis produced by the team included Comparing Rural and Urban areas of England and WalesCoastal CommunitiesCharacteristics of Built-Up Areas, and Analysis of the Workplace Population.

The centre also leads on the travel to work topic at ONS and Census 2011 articles produced included Method of Travel to Workdistance travelled to work, and cycling to work.

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6. Access to sources of subnational data

Office for National Statistics (ONS) provides a number of mechanisms for users to access smaller breakdowns of data, or the datasets themselves, in addition to the standard publications and published tables.

Alongside subnational data published by the ONS you may wish to explore other data sources published by the devolved administrations through Northern Ireland Neighbourhood Information Service (NINIS), StatsWales and Scottish Government.

Nomis offers free access to detailed and up-to-date statistics from official sources. You can download summary reports and aggregate results for a wide range of geographic definitions according to your requirements. Topics include data on the labour market, business activity, population, and Census tables.

Customise My Data is our beta website which allows you to filter data from a variety of different ONS datasets to extract data meeting your requirements. Topics include data on earnings, wellbeing, population and ageing. More data continues to be added.

The Open Geography Geoportal provides free and open access to the definitive source of geographic products including lookups, shapefiles and databases. Commonly used products include the National Statistics Postcode Lookup, the Code History Database and Standard Area Measurements.

The Secure Research Service (SRS) gives accredited or approved researchers secure access to de-identified, unpublished, record-level data in order to work on research projects for the public good. Researchers can conduct their own bespoke analysis using datasets from our data catalogue (XLS, 29.6KB) and create outputs based upon the needs of the project.

The Data Science Campus makes use of new technologies, methodological approaches, and statistical techniques to create new insights from data, and to provide training and guidance to analysts in data science approaches. New projects and collaborations can be proposed for the campus to investigate by contacting them.

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7. Engagement and contacting us

We circulate a newsletter every few weeks containing developments with subnational statistics across Office for National Statistics, alerts to upcoming seminars or presentations of interest to subnational users, and links to the latest publications of subnational data. If you would like to receive this newsletter, please contact cities@ons.gov.uk.

For further information about productivity, regional economics, spatial analysis and analysis of towns please contact subnational@ons.gov.uk.

For further information about our housing statistics and analysis, please contact better.info@ons.gov.uk.

For further information about city region statistics, local workshops and engagements, please contact cities@ons.gov.uk.

Phone: +44 1329 447825

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