Classification: CLUST91
Short name: CLUST91
Full name: ONS Area Classifications 1991
General description: This classification was developed in 1995 by The Office of Population Censuses and Surveys (OPCS, now ONS) to provide an indicator of the characteristics of areas, and of the similarities of areas, based on the 1991 Census.
The basic technique was similar to that used in the production of the area classifications after the 1971 and 1981 censuses. Formalised multi variate methods were applied, that is, the classications were based on the values of a number of relevant variables for each area.
Areas which were most similar to each other, based on the aggregated differences in variable values, were grouped into the same cluster.
The 457 local authority districts in Great Britain on Census day 1991 were grouped into 34 Clusters. These then formed 12 Groups, under 6 Families.
The 112 district health authorities in England and 24 health districts in Scotland and Wales as at 1994 were then allocated to the local authority grouping to which it was most similar. In this way, the district health authorities have the same 12 Group and 6 Family classification as local authorities.
The classification of wards was done separately. The set of areas used was that used for the release of 1991 Census Local Base Statistics (LBS) in which wards (or postcode sectors) with less than 1,000 usual residents, or 320 resident households, were amalgamated with a neighbouring ward. 43 Clusters were formed into 14 Groups which were not amalgamated into Families.
The Clusters were calculated on the basis of 37 variables covering the range of demographic structure, household composition, housing, socio-economic character and employment characteristics.
For a full and detailed report of the methods and results in producing the classification, see Wallace M et al (1995). This document includes profiles of the Families, Group and Clusters at district level, but the Groups and Clusters for wards were not published.
LS description: The LS holds the area classifications for county districts (family, group and cluster), district health authorities (family and group) and wards (group and cluster) in the geography file.
Keyword: Area
Start date: Census 1991
References: Wallace M, Charlton J and Denham C (1995) The new OPCS area classifications, Population Trends no. 79 pp. 15-30
Wallace M, Denham C (1996) SMPS No 59 'A socio-economic classification of local and health authorities of Great Britain' p 116 (London HMSO). (References to SMPS No 60 are to a non-existent publication)
Equivalent classifications: WRDCW71