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Blog posts : What can the Census 2021 interactive map do and how can I use it?

Census maps census website blog

At the Office for National Statistics (ONS), we published the first results from Census 2021 in June 2022. We then published the first of our series of Census 2021 topic summaries in November 2022.

As well as releasing the data from Census 2021, we've also created new and exciting ways to interact with it.

We've already written about how interactive content known as "scrollytelling" articles has brought the data to life. You can read more in our blog, What are Census 2021 interactive "scrollytelling" articles?.

We've also created "Census maps", an interactive map that allows you to compare census data in different areas across England and Wales.

What is Census maps?

The Census maps tool is an interactive map that lets you explore Census 2021 data across England and Wales right down to a local neighbourhood level.

Census data are complex and detailed, making it hard to navigate without specialist knowledge. Census maps allows you to easily explore and see the differences between neighbourhoods.

How do you use Census maps to search by area?

You can visit Census maps (opens in a new tab)  on the ONS website.

Census maps page showing England and Wales

When the page loads, you will see that it automatically selects "England and Wales" as the area. This means that for any topic you choose, you will see data for England and Wales as a whole.

You can choose an area by zooming in and selecting it on the map or typing an area name or postcode into the Area search box.

How do you use Census maps to search by topic?

You can also search by topic area. As topics become available, we will add them to the Census maps search options.

Census maps page showing how to select a topic

You can select your topic of interest from those that are available by using the Topic search box. For example, by typing in "household size". You can also select an available topic from the category links underneath the Topic search box.

Census maps page showing information about household size

Once you’ve chosen a topic, you can choose from specific "categories" within it. For example, if you chose "household size", you could then select from:

  • "1 person in household"
  • "2 people in household"
  • "3 people in household"
  • "4 or more people in household"

The results in the map will show the percentage of people or households in an area who match that category. The darker the area, the higher its percentage.

You can then zoom into the map to see smaller areas.

Sharing, embedding and downloading the data

You can now share the data about your selected area, topic and category. You can do this by copying the URL of the page from the address bar of the website browser.

Each time you select a new topic or area, this URL will change. So, anyone visiting the same URL will see the same selections that you can see.

You can embed the map in your own website by selecting "embed this map" at the bottom of the side panel. Simply copy and paste the HTML code into your website. Note that your website must allow you to write HTML code and to include "iframes" within pages.

You can also download the data from the map as an Excel spreadsheet. You can do this by selecting the "download data" link. This will take you to the relevant Census 2021 dataset on the ONS website.

Start exploring Census 2021 data

Find out what people's lives were like in your local area on Census Day by exploring the data on Census maps (opens in a new tab)  on the ONS website.

You'll also find more information about our release plans and Census 2021 products on the census page (opens in a new tab)  of the ONS website.

You can read more about the technical information and future developments of Census maps (opens in a new tab)  in our ONS Digital blog.