An update on the 2021 Census data

Did you know that there are some census 2021 datasets already available in Local Insight? This blog outlines; how to access that data, when you can expect to see the rest of the census data and how you will be able to compare 2011 and 2021 census data in Local Insight.

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Latest timeframes


The latest information is that the census outputs will start to be published early summer (June, we believe). Stay in the know on publication dates directly from the ONS.

Our intention is to have the datasets loaded into Local Insight within days of publication by the ONS.

Geographical changes

There will be changes to the census geographies (OAs, LSOAs and MSOAs). We will manage this in Local Insight for you and communicate how we are doing this. Rest assured, you will be able to see census 2011 and 2021 data for all geographies including the latest wards.

Census 2021 datasets already available in Local Insight

The ONS recently published some early census 2021 outputs. They published Country of birth by Local Authority for Ukraine and neighbouring or relevant countries to help local and national emergency planning in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

This data is now live in Local Insight. The full list of datasets available are:

  • Born in Afghanistan
  • Born in Belarus
  • Born in Estonia
  • Born in Hungary
  • Born in Lithuania
  • Born in Latvia
  • Born in Moldova
  • Born in Poland
  • Born in Romania
  • Born in Russia
  • Born in Slovakia
  • Born in Ukraine


These datasets are published at Local Authority level only. As data is not available at smaller geographies, there are measures in place to prevent this data from showing for small areas in Local Insight to avoid any confusion. This means that:

  • You will not be able to zoom into MSOA or LSOA level when viewing these datasets on the map.
  • Any custom areas that contain constituent regions smaller than Local Authority will not show data in the tables and dashboard. For example in figure 2 below, you can see that data is showing for the Local Authority custom areas but not for the wards.



Finding these datasets in Local Insight

These new datasets are not shown on your Local Insight Map by default.

Compare 2011 and 2021 census datasets in Local Insight

You will be able to compare the census 2021 datasets with their 2011 counterparts in Local Insight. This will be possible in the data for your areas pop-up on the map and in the Local Insight reports.

Data for your areas popup

When viewing census datasets on the map, Local Insight will automatically update to show the latest 2021 census data. When you view data for your areas the table will show percentage and count data for all your custom areas for the 2021 census and the 2011 census questions. For example, see below how this table will look for the data related to those who selected Christian as their religion in the census.

Please note: This is a mocked up image. The data in this table is not representative of real data as the Christian 2021 data has not yet been published.

Local Insight reports

The Local Insight reports will contain charts and graphs where you can compare the 2021 census data with the 2011 census data for your chosen custom area.

New datasets

New questions were asked on the 2021 census on the following topics:

  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender Identity
  • New Ethnic groups (Eritrean, Romanian and Showman populations)

There will be associated datasets for these topics in Local Insight.

More combined datasets

The ONS will have a dissemination tool where you will be able to combine indicators. For example, you will be able to see areas with high concentrations of young adults, with both low skills and high unemployment.

We will consult with users to identify the most important combinations and upload them onto Local Insight. 

Support for using the new census data

We will be running regular webinars throughout the summer to support all users in getting the most out of the census 2021 data. Follow us on Eventbrite to receive information about all the webinars we run. 

If you have any questions please contact us at