This dataset contains gridded human population with a spatial resolution of 1 km x 1 km for the UK based on Census 2011 and Land Cover Map 2015 input data. Data on population distribution for the United Kingdom is available from statistical offices in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland and provided to the public e.g. via the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Population data is typically provided in tabular form or, based on a range of different geographical units, in file types for geographical information systems (GIS), for instance as ESRI Shapefiles. The geographical units reflect administrative boundaries at different levels of detail, from Devolved Administration to Output Areas (OA), wards or intermediate geographies. While the presentation of data on the level of these geographical units is useful for statistical purposes, accounting for spatial variability for instance of environmental determinants of public health requires a more spatially homogeneous population distribution. For this purpose, the dataset presented here combines 2011 UK Census population data on Output Area level with Land Cover Map 2015 land-use classes 'urban' and 'suburban' to create a consistent and comprehensive gridded population data product at 1 km x 1 km spatial resolution. The mapping product is based on British National Grid (OSGB36 datum).
Publication date: 2017-11-22
Census data from the Office of National Statistics have been downloaded as CSV files.
Land Cover Map 2015 vector data has been obtained from CEH.
Output Area geography data (Extent of the Realm), were obtained for England & Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland.
The processing steps are detailed in the Supporting Documentation.
To ensure consistency of the final product, total population numbers were compared, at each processing step, with the official 2011 Census totals. In particular due to the clipping process, which merges data on different geographies, areas where population data are provided on administrative boundaries and areas which contain urban, suburban and urban industrial land use parcels, some inconsistencies are inevitable. In addition, the Land Cover Map has been generated in 2015 (with satellite data compiled prior to the release, whereas Census data was obtained in 2011. In the period in between, changes in residential areas will have emerged, which result in different urban or suburban land use data in LCM 2015 compared to the 2011 census (e.g. newly developed residential areas). While there is a difference between residential and workday populations in the Census dataset of 0.107%, the same population figure has been assumed for scaling. As a result, the final output file is consistent with the Census total population for the UK in 2011 within 0.0012% for residential and 0.0005% for workday populations respectively.