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Which small area geographies are used within Active Places Power?

Active Places Power uses small area geographies designed by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) to improve the reporting of small area statistics in England and Wales. They are known as Super Output Areas (SOAs) and were developed as an alternative to Wards for calculating small area statistics. Unlike Wards and Postcode geographies, all SOA represent a similar number of people allowing for comparability across smaller geographic areas. The SOA layers form a hierarchy based on aggregations of Output Areas (OAs).

The relationship of OA and SOA during the 2011 census was as follows:


Population: 100 to 625

Average Population: 309

Households: 40 to 250

Number of records (England): 171,372

Lower SOAs

Population: 1,000 to 3,000

Average Population: 1,500

Households: 400 to 1,200

Number of records (England): 32,844

Middle SOA

Population: 5,000 to 15,000

Average Population: 7,500

Households: 2,000 to 6,000

Number of records (England): 6,791