Updating small area population estimates in England and Wales

Stephen Simpson, Ian Diamond, Pete Tonkin, Rachel Tye

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Population estimates have important implications for resource allocation within government and commerce, and are often assumed to be without error. Currently, central government provides annual population estimates for all the local and health authority districts in Britain, but estimates are needed for smaller areas, typically for electoral wards and postal sectors. Small area estimates are provided by some local authorities and commercial organizations, using different methods; the accuracy of these estimates is modelled here within a multilevel framework. Certain characteristics of the small area and of the method of estimation are included as explanatory variables. Results show that the method of estimation used is of great importance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-247
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the Royal Statistical Society. Series A: Statistics in Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1996


  • Estimating with confidence project
  • Multilevel modelling
  • Population estimation


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