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Daytime population and workplace zones

Census 2016 is the first census for which data on the ‘daytime population’ of areas are being published. The daytime population includes everybody who indicated they worked or studied in the area, along with persons in that area who do not work or study (and so are there during the day).

This is a new level of geography for publishing demographic, socio-economic and commuting characteristics of workers.

The dataset includes a breakdown of persons in each area by age, social class, socio-economic group, nationality and level of education completed. There is also a breakdown of the persons who work or study in the area by means of travel, time leaving home and journey time. Data about workers and unemployed persons in the area is broken down by occupation and there is a breakdown of workers by industry.

These zones were created from amalgamating and/or splitting the Small Areas output from the census.

The reasons for their creation included the following:

  • Small Areas are based on where people reside not where they work
  • Some Small Areas contain no/few businesses; some contain many 
  • Potential uses in emergency planning, transport, optimum location for new businesses etc.
  • Growing demands for data on workers and daytime statistics nationally and internationally

General Rules for Workplace zone creation

  • Where possible all zones to have a range of between 100 to 400 workers
  • Each workplace zone contains a minimum of three workplaces
  • Workplace zones nest within county boundaries
  • No more than 90% of employees in any one workplace zone can work in one organisation

Rules for Workplace zone creation

  • 7,219 Workzone places created
  • 9% (620) of zones in excess of 400 workers
  • 120 zones in excess of 1000 workers
  • 19 zones in excess of 2500 workers
  • Average number of workers per zone is 269
  • Where place of work, school or college was blank or uncodeable, persons were counted in their area of usual residence
  • Where a person indicated they had no fixed place of work they were counted in their area of usual residence.


This data is available to download in Excel format.

Download Workplace Zones Glossary (XLS 16KB)

Download Workplace Zones (XLS 3,401KB)

Download Workplace Zones Boundary File 

Look-up table: Small Area to Workplace Zone (XLS 3,523KB)


Grid Dataset

Following Census 2011, each household and dwelling in the country was linked to spatial coordinates with population data aggregated into 1 km2 grid cells.

The 2016 data has been provided with population information only. To facilitate comparison, the Census 2011 population is also provided Census 2016 1 kmĀ² grid population dataset (XLS 2,142KB) .  

The Grid Shapefile is available here 1km2 Grid (ZIP 20,118KB) .