Data Zone Boundaries 2001


Data Zone Boundaries 2001
Date ( Creation )
Date ( Publication )
Identifier / SG_DataZone_Bdry_2001

Data zones are the core geography for dissemination of results from Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics (SNS). The data zone geography covers the whole of Scotland and nests within local authority boundaries. Data zones are groups of Census output areas which have populations of between 500 and 1,000 household residents, and some effort has been made to respect physical boundaries. In addition, they have compact shape and contain households with similar social characteristics. Data zones are a stable geography and can be used to analyse change over time. There are 6,505 data zones across Scotland, and each have been assigned an individual code that follows the Scottish Government's standard naming and coding convention. The code prefix is S01, which has been assigned to designate data zones. In some cases, data zones have also been assigned a name. To date, Local Authorities that have named their data zones include Eilean Siar (Western Isles), Falkirk, Fife, Highland, Moray, Shetland, South Lanarkshire, Stirling and West Lothian.


Point of contact

Scottish Government - Statistics Policy ( Data, Statistics and Outcomes )
St Andrews House, Regent Road
United Kingdom
GEMET - INSPIRE themes, version 1.0 ( Theme )
  • Statistical units
IPVS - Integrated Public Sector Vocabulary version 2
  • Life in the community
Other constraints
No limitations on public access
Use limitation
Open Government Licence
Use limitation
The following attribution statement must be used to acknowledge the source of the information: Copyright Scottish Government, contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right (insert year)
Use limitation
Dataset is complete for Scotland. Care should be taken when using this dataset with lookups to other postcode based geographies. Some postcode unit boundaries have changed since data zones were created therefore exact match of the boundaries are unlikely.
Topic category
  • Boundaries
  • Society
Geographic identifier

Date ( Publication )

Supplemental Information

Reference system identifier
EPSG / OSGB 1936 / British National Grid (EPSG:27700) / 7.4

Distribution format
  • WMS ( 1.3.0 )

  • WFS ( 2.0.0 )

  • ESRI REST ( 1.0 )

  • ESRI Shapefile ( 1.0 )


The Data Zone geography was developed for use within the Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics programme to allow statistics across a number of policy areas to be readily (and regularly) available for a consistent and stable geography. The dataset was originally created by St. Andrews University and the detailed methodology can be found at In summary, primary school catchments were approximated to Census Output Area boundaries, which were then amalgamated to data zones based upon population, compactness and social homogeneity. The main criteria used in the initial definition of data zones in approximate order of importance were: 1. Approximate equality of resident population (500-1,000 persons) 2. Compactness of shape 3. Approximate homogeneity of social composition 4. Existence, where possible, of some community of interest 5. Accordance with other boundaries of local significance 6. Accordance with prominent features in the physical environment This dataset also includes an area field with the value given in hectares. This area is the 'standard' area which was calculated from Census Output Areas and then assigned to Data Zones through a look up table. This follows the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Standard Area Measurement methodology, as agreed in 2005. This was done to ensure that total areas remained consistent when comparing geographies. For more information on ONS Standard Area Measurement, please see . The dataset is managed by the Scottish Government's Geographic Information Science and Analysis Team (GI-SAT), on behalf of Statistical Policy teams of the Scottish Government.


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b7727226-f857-421d-8e9d-9151b07df68e metadataInXML
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Point of contact