Census 2021 outputs: content design and release phase proposals

Closes 5 Oct 2021

5b: Small populations

Following the 2011 Census, we offered small population tables. This was to provide information on the key characteristics of people in specific small population groups where numbers may not support multivariate analysis at smaller geographies. These groups were defined by their cultural background. Examples of these characteristics are individuals of:

-    an ethnic group
-    a country of birth
-    a religion
-    a national identity

These tables reflect identities about which users have specific needs. This may be to better understand that small population or analyse potential inequalities between that small population and the wider population. The small population tables were published on the Nomis small populations in 2011 webpage.

In line with the approach taken in 2011, we will release tables for selected small population groups where the small size of the total population in that group means confidentiality constraints limit the release of more detailed statistics. Examples of small populations include Sikh, Cornish, and Jain. 

Small population tables produced following the 2011 census

We only produced these small population data for geographic areas in which the small population being counted exceeded a set threshold. We only included the areas in which the population exceeded those thresholds in each table.

At a minimum, we aim to produce tables for six small populations that we produced tables for in 2011. We will make these available at the Middle Super Output Area (MSOA) level.  In 2011, we produced 17 tables for each of the six populations. The populations in 2011 were:

  • National identity - Cornish
  • Ethnic group - Kashmiri
  • Ethnic group - Nepalese
  • Ethnic group - Sikh
  • Religion - Ravidassia
  • Religion - Jain

For the Sikh and Jain tables in Census 2021, the small population outputs will use new derived variables. The variables include responses in either the ethnic group or the religion question.

We will also produce local authority level tables by five-year age bands by sex, for a total of 30 population groups for local authorities. We will do this for the same 30 population groups as in 2011.  These were all ethnic groups, or countries of birth.

For ethnic group, these were:


  • Afghan
  • Filipino
  • Greek
  • Greek Cypriot
  • Kurdish
  • Latin Central South American
  • Nepalese
  • Polish
  • Somali
  • Sri Lankan
  • Tamil
  • Turkish
  • Turkish Cypriot

For country of birth, these were:

  • Bangladesh
  • Bulgaria
  • Cyprus EU
  • France
  • Ghana
  • India
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Somalia
  • Sri Lanka
  • South Africa
  • Turkey

However, because potential for disclosure is higher for small populations, we need to carefully assess what additional information can be published. Please provide as much detail as possible of the tables required, stating the geographies, variables and classifications you need.

We will use the information you provide when finalising proposals for publishing data on alternative populations. Please provide as much detail as possible to justify your data needs, such as the policy or planning decisions the data analysis would affect. 

Which of the following groups would you use data from Middle Layer Super Output Area (MSOA) tables on?

Select all that apply

For the groups selected above, would the production of MSOA data tables equivalent to those produced following the 2011 Census meet your needs?
Do you require more detailed data on any of the small populations for which Local Authority level five-year age bands by sex tables were produced in 2011?
Are there any other small populations that you need local authority level tables by five-year age bands by sex for?

Please consider all sociodemographic variables, especially those with write-in response options, such as language or religion.

Do you have any requirements for data on any small population that you have not provided in the previous questions?

Please consider all sociodemographic variables, especially those with write-in response options, such as language or religion.

If you selected ‘Yes’, please define the small population, provide your requirements and explain why you need this information. For example, what policy or planning decisions would the results effect?

Please provide as much detail as possible of the tables you require, stating the geographies, variables, and classifications you need. If you require data on more than one additional small population, please list these out separately.

Do the plans for Census 2021 analysis on small populations meet your needs?

These plans are included in the Census 2021 analysis programme proposals (PDF, 504.8KB) document within the section for the related topic.  For example, analysis related to the Sikh population is included within the ethnic group, identity, language and religion topic. If you have described your needs in another part of the consultation you do not need to repeat them here.