Population estimates are a key source of data for different users. It has long been recognised that users require population estimates for smaller geographies than the local authority level currently available in the Registrar General's Mid-Year Estimates (MYE). For instance, geographies below local authority level will enable central and local government, and the health service to better plan and deliver services.
This dataset, which draws heavily on the Community Health Index (CHI), delivers a set of small area population estimates for Scotland, which are consistent with the Registrar General's 1999 MYE. Estimates by gender and five-year age group for postcode sectors are presented. There are concerns about the quality of the estimates and therefore National Records of Scotland (NRS) are publishing these estimates as an experimental dataset for user consultation. It is felt that the immediate value to users outweighs the improvements in quality that could be gained by waiting for other better data sources or further developmental work.
It is accepted that many users are in a better position to evaluate the dataset, given their in-depth knowledge of their local areas using local datasets (such as the Voluntary Population Survey) and NRS requests users to provide feedback on the quality of the estimates. This feedback will help NRS to gain a better understanding of the quality of the data and will help to direct future work on improving the methodology and the underlying data sources. Feedback on the quality of this dataset should be forwarded to the address in Section 6.