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Super Output Area (SOA) estimates are produced using a ratio change methodology. This method uses change in the population recorded in administrative sources as an indicator of change in the true population and is used to produce SOA estimates in intercensal periods. For consistency, lower layer Super Output Area (LSOA) mid-year population estimates are constrained to middle layer Super Output Area (MSOA) estimates which in turn are constrained to local authority estimates.

LSOA population estimates are the starting point for calculating Output Area (OA) estimates. Administrative data sources are used to distribute the population, by single year of age and sex, between each OA within a single LSOA. Special populations (for example prisoners and armed forces) are treated separately as they are static populations which are not included in the administrative data sources used to calculate OA estimates.

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