National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

Scottish Settlements Urban and Rural Areas in Scotland

Scottish Settlements Urban and Rural Areas in Scotland

Annex B - History of Definition of 'Urban' Areas at National Records of Scotland

2001 Census

18. We plan to freeze our postcode index and boundaries for the 2001 Census on 24 January 2001. We intend to use this frozen version of the products in place of one of the regular releases of index and boundary, either the 2001/1 release (that would have been issued in January 2001) or the 2001/2 release (July 2001). It seems best at the moment to issue 2001/1 as normal, and the frozen Census products as 2001/2.

19. The process for 2000/1 described above (amended in the light of user comment and further research) will be repeated for the frozen index and boundary. A supplementary postcode index and settlement index will be released.

20. At some point during Census processing when we consider that the number of households and residents in each postcode has stabilised, output areas will be created using, among other things, the allocation of (frozen) postcodes to settlements. The resulting products are a supplementary postcode index linking postcode to output areas, and an index linking output areas to 'higher areas' including 2001 settlements. Boundaries of output areas and settlements may also be released but users will be able to generate these products from the indexes and postcode boundaries.

21. For the 2001 set of settlements at least, users may want a division into constituent localities. If so we will have to find a way of dividing the settlements into localities. The boundaries of the 1991 localities should be a useful starting point for such an exercise. However, there will have to be an interactive (i.e. subjective) element in the process of making a set of 1991 localities fit the area of a settlement. For example, where the 2001 settlement is larger than the equivalent group of 1991 localities, then each 1991 locality would have to be 'extended' so that all of the 2001 settlement is apportioned.

22. Note that the 2001 settlement will have been created without using Census data. However, a simple estimate of population has been made consistent with the mid-1999 estimates for council areas.