Census microdata


We provide access to census microdata, which are individual level data. Large samples of census records have been drawn and anonymised and are known as the Samples of Anonymised Records (SARs). They are large individual level files which enable multivariate analyses for a wide range or purposes.

We hold data from the 1991 and 2001 Censuses and SARs from the 2011 Census are anticipated.

Access census microdata

SAR files are available at four levels, two of which can currently be accessed through the UK Data Service in the same manner as survey data.

End User Licence data are available to registered users who have agreed to the licence conditions. Overseas applications must be approved by the data depositors.

The key analysis datasets are;



Additionally, specialist datasets for users interested in imputation are available for 2001. These are larger files as they contain an imputation flag variable for each original variable. As they are otherwise identical, general users are advised to user the smaller standard files.

The 2001 household file is available under Special Licence; users must be approved researchers in order to access this file.

Users should also be aware that there are also more detailed versions of the data available only within an Office for National Statistics safe setting. Applications to use these data as an approved researcher should be made directly to the Office for National Statistics.

  • 2011: To find out more or apply for the 10% 2011 Individual and Household Secure microdata for England and Wales see the ONS secure midrodata page.
  • 2001 census microdata is available via the Virtual microdata laboratory, unlike other data available in the virtual microdata laboratory they are not available through the UK Data Service.
  • If you are considering using the 2001 data you might be interested in testing your syntax on a dataset which was designed for this purpose - see the CAMS test file.

Additionally, 1% 2011 taster files known as the Teaching files are available as open data in .csv format from:

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