Census 2011 coming soon

The second release of Census 2011 key and quick statistics for output areas was published today for all neighbourhoods across England and Wales. We are hard at work in the OCSI offices crunching the numbers as we load the data into the maps and reports on Community Insight, ready to go live next week.

The data has been published down to the most detailed Output Area level geography (covering around 120 households). The data covers ethnicity, skill levels, economic activity, general health, tenure, housing type, access to transport, household arrangements, what jobs people are doing, overcrowding, migration and country of birth.

As well as providing the detail of how local areas have changed over the 10 years since the last Census in 2001, this is the first time that such detailed data on many of these topics has been available at neighbourhood level. In addition to this, a range of new data has been published at Local Authority level for the first time. Find out more about the datasets from the ONS Census 2011 site, including detailed information on the data as well as videos explaining what the statistics mean.

Once we’ve loaded the new data into Community Insight and Population Insight, all subscribers will have access to the latest data on their areas through their maps and reports.

The social value of housing within communities

A jointly organised conference by HACT and the Northern Housing Consortium for community investment professionals.

14 March 2013

York Racecourse, York, YO23 1EX [view on google maps]

9.00am – 5.00pm

The housing sector is facing the biggest challenges since its re-founding in the 1960s. The social, economic and political context in which housing providers operate is changing. In particular providers face: changes in government subsidy for new homes; an end to top-down regulation; radical welfare reforms; the emergence of localism; and direct competition from the private sector. How the sector responds to this new environment will be critical in determining the future of our most disadvantaged communities.

As value-driven businesses committed to their communities and tenants, social housing providers need to be ready to proactively respond and show leadership. Undoubtedly housing providers are at their most successful when they value and engage with their communities, harness the energy and enthusiasm of local people and actively seek to identify and meet the needs of those most at the  margins. Therefore HACT and the Northern Housing Consortium are co-hosting a conference to look at these important issues.

By attending this conference you will: 

  • Hear from inspirational speakers from the sector and also from key thinkers from wider civil society with an expertise in localism, neighbourhood, community and place;
  • Gain an insight from sector examples of strategic approaches to community investment and evidence based interventions that achieve greater social value;
  • Have an opportunity to engage with the latest economic and social impact research from HACT and Northern Housing Consortium

Chaired by Jon Lord, Chief Executive at Bolton at Home, our speakers include:

  • Ben Llewellyn, Deputy Director, Big Society and Community Rights, Department of Communities and Local Government
  • Matt Leach, Chief Executive, HACT
  • Jo Boaden, Chief Executive, Northern Housing Consortium
  • Lisa Denison, Community Investment Director, Sovereign
  • Tony Powell, Executive Director of Neighbourhoods, New Charter Housing Trust Group
  • Elizabeth Cox, Senior Manager, New Economics Foundation
  • Laura Gardiner, Labour Market Researcher, Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion (CLEI)
  • Sally Thomas, Head of Community Investment, North Star HG
  • Tom Smith, Chief Executive, Oxford Consultants for Social Inclusion (OCSI)
  • Paul Smith, Head of Enterprise and Intelligence, Aster Group
  • Dawn Francis, Group GIS Manager, Greensquare

In particular the conference will explore the:

  • rationale and opportunities for a new strategic approach to community investment;
  • social and economic value and impact of the housing sector;
  • evidence base needed to inform community investment spending decisions;
  • opportunities for using data to inform community investment;
  • challenge of measuring impact and the new environment post the Social Value Act; and
  • external challenges of welfare reform, unemployment and financial inclusion.

Who should attend?

The conference is designed for decision-makers, and those leading service delivery, that are looking at how they can transform their approaches to neighbourhood investment. The conference is aimed at those working in community development, regeneration, policy and research, and will also be of interest to tenant representatives and tenant board members, as well as community development professionals in the wider public, voluntary and community sectors.


Book your place online now


Updating Community Insight to the latest data

Community Insight now includes datasets released at neighbourhood level from Census 2011, in addition to the latest labour market indicators.

Census 2011 population data 

Three of the population indicators have been updated with Census 2011 data, replacing the older mid-year estimates:

  • Population aged 0-15
  • Population aged 65+
  • Population of working age

In addition, vulnerable group and deprivation indicators have been updated to use the Census 2011 data as the population denominators:

  • Workless through sickness benefit- shows % of all working age adults receiving Incapacity Benefit or Employment Support Allowance
  • Disability benefit-shows % of all people receiving Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • Older people social care benefit-shows % of all aged 65+ receiving Attendance Allowance (AA)
  • Pensioners in poverty- shows % of Pension Credit Claimants as a % of all pensioners
  • People with mental health issues- shows % of people receiving Incapacity Benefits for mental health of all working age adults
  • Working age welfare benefit claimants- shows % of all working age adults receiving DWP benefits

Labour Market Indicators

Two vulnerable group and labour market indicators have been updated with the latest data (bringing the time series up to November 2012):

  • Unemployment benefit- shows % of all working age adults receiving Jobseekers Allowance (JSA)
  • Unemployment to available jobs ratio- shows Unemployment (JSA) to job vacancies indicating the level of competition for local jobs

Coming soon

Data updates coming soon to Community Insight will include local area statistics from Census 2011 due to be published January 30th, as well as labour market indicators published by the Office for National Statistics.

We are continuously reviewing Community Insight to keep the tool up-to-date with the latest data. As well as posting on this blog, we will email details of updates out in the monthly Community Insight newsletter. Sign up here if you want to receive updates straight to your inbox.

And as usual, if you have seen something on this site you’re not sure about, or found some data you think we should add, do contact us!

What did the census feeding frenzy tell us about housing?

What can we find for housing in the midst of the census “feeding frenzy”?

Oxford Consultants for Social Inclusion’s Director Tom Smith says that up to half a million people in social housing do not know their landlord is a housing association.

Image: Image Broker/Rex Features

The December publication of the latest data from the 2011 census kicked off a veritable feeding frenzy of analysis from media pundits, thinktanks, researchers, public service providers and even local pub drinkers. Headlines focused on the impact of migration over the last decade, with Oxford University’s migration observatorythe IPPR and Manchester University leading from the front.

However, there are also some big social issues hidden in the housing data. The census confirms the impact of two of the biggest housing stories over the past decade: the rise of private renting and the fall in owner occupation, and the scale of the transfer from council-owned social housing to housing associations. There is also a lesson in relying on census data, where other administrative data sources can be used for cross-referencing.

• Growth of the private rented sector and fall in owner-occupation, driven by population increases

Results from the census show the dramatic increase in the scale of private renting, by almost 50% over a decade. Between 2001 to 2011, the number of private-rented households increased by 1.63 million in England and Wales, from 12% of all housing in 2001 to 18% in 2011 (if you include in this sector those living rent free). Unsurprisingly, given difficulties of accessing mortgage finance, the proportion of people owning their own homes has fallen significantly. Although still the biggest component of all housing, accounting for 64% of all housing in 2011, owner occupation has fallen from 69% of all housing in 2001.

This is further evidence of the scale of what has been described as Generation Rent. Although the total number of households in England and Wales increased by 1.7 million over the decade, 95% of this increase was in the private renting sector.

Local variations are associated with rapid population growth. The national figure hides some big local variations. Across London, less than half of households are now owner-occupied (49.5%); the capital also saw the largest regional fall in owner-occupation levels over the decade; from 56.5% to 49.5%. In Hackney, only one in four (26%) of households were owner-occupied.

The biggest changes are seen in those local authority (LA) areas with the biggest population growth. The local authorities with the largest population increases are also those authorities with the biggest shift towards private renting, and away from owner-occupation. In the 10 authorities with the largest population increases over the decade, the number of private renting households increased by 139,000 over the decade, but owner-occupied households only by 5,600.

The data from the census underscores the challenges facing central and local government and the housing sector. The increased pressure on housing through population growth, low levels of house building, and difficulty in accessing mortgages, is leading to big shifts in how we live. Generation Rent is here to stay.

• Census data shows – but undercounts – the shift in social housing

The second significant story seen in the census housing data is the scale of the shift from council to registered social landlord housing. In total, 18% of all households were self-reported as renting social housing in 2011, similar to the 19% in 2001. But within these figures, the impact of stock transfers from councils to housing providers is clear. The proportion of social housing now managed by registered social landlords is significantly up, with that owned by local authorities correspondingly down.

However, the census undercounts the true scale of the shift. In 2011, census data identified 1.8m properties run by registered social landlords in England, well below the 2.3m identified in housing provider returns to the Tenant Services Authority. Similarly, the 2.1m council owned properties from 2011 data is well above the 1.7m identified in Department of Communities and Local Government data.

In other words, up to half a million people in the census appear to have misreported their housing as council owned rather than registered social landlord. This is understandable: many tenants may well continue to see their house as “council housing” even after stock transfers – and it is unlikely that the data on ownership and private-renting is similarly skewed. But it highlights the importance of cross-referencing, or “triangulating” in the research jargon, census data against other sources where available. Although the census is the most detailed information source we have on the state of the UK, we can’t simply take the data as gospel.

More detailed data from the census will be published on 31 January 2013 and will be available to housing providers under the Community Insight tool developed by OCSI and the housing charity HACT.


Original article can be found on the Guardian Housing Network

Click here to view a copy of the full OCSI Census 2011 review on housing