National Records of Scotland

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Background Information on Small Area Population Estimates

Background Information on Small Area Population Estimates

This publication contains the mid-2007 Small Area Population Estimates (SAPE) for Scotland. The National Records of Scotland (NRS) has produced small area population estimates at data zone level for each year from 2001 onwards. Further details of the background to the project and a description of the methodology used to produce the small area population estimates are available on the 2001-2004 Small Area Population Estimates, Scotland section of this website.

This report presents the mid-2007 population estimates for data zones, by gender and five-year age groups [Footnote 1]. The estimates are consistent with mid-year population estimates for council areas (available at Mid-2007 Population Estimates Scotland).

The data zone small area population estimates are derived using the cohort-component method where Census-based estimates are updated by ‘ageing on’ populations and applying information on births, deaths and migration. A brief description of the methodology is outlined in the paper that accompanied the publication of the 2001-2004 SAPEs - '2001-2004 Small Area Population Estimates – Methodology'. More information on data zone geography can be found on the Scottish Government website's 'Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics Data Zones Background Information' page.

NRS has been carrying out research to compare the SAPE with a range of administrative datasets. The research compares both the levels of the estimates and the relative changes in these data. The administrative datasets being used in the research include Community Health Index based patient data, child benefit data, school census data, and the ‘older persons’ database derived from individual Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) databases for Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance, Widows Benefit, State Pension, Incapacity Benefit, Winter Fuel Payments and Minimum Income Guarantee, and covers persons aged 65 years and over. In addition, NRS has collected data from Scottish universities on the term-time addresses of students living in university-owned accommodation. This information was used to check estimates for data zones and in a small number of cases adjustments were made to ensure that data zone population estimates reflected the knowledge acquired from these, and other, sources of data. These adjustments mostly related to areas with a high number of university students where, because of the transient nature of the population, the migration data (from the community health index) is known to be less reliable. 

1.    With the exception of the range 10-19 which is split into the age groups 10-15 and 16-19. This has been done to allow the creation of the broad age groups children (0-15), working age (16-59/64) and pensionable age (60/65 and over).

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