Research and data

Scottish Borders Datazones and Intermediate Zones

Datazones in the Scottish Borders

Scottish Datazones are the primary geography for the release of small area statistics in Scotland. All of the Scottish Government providers of Official Statistics use Datazone boundaries for the release of their neighbourhood statistics, where neighbourhood statistics are available.

Datazones are composed of Census Output Areas and are large enough that statistics can be presented accurately without fear of disclosure, but small enough that they can be used to represent communities. They are ideally designed to:

  • have roughly standard populations of 500-1k residents
  • nest within council areas
  • have compact shapes that respect physical boundaries where possible
  • contain households with similar social characteristics

Datazones can be aggregated like building blocks, to represent a larger community of interest, for which population statistics wouldn't normally be available. An example might include when there is change to an Electoral Ward, urban Community Council area or secondary school catchment area, and we want to analyse population counts for the proposed new boundary options. 

Datazones may change every 10 years, after a Census. This is to make sure they always represent communities, including new housing areas that have been built in the past 10 years. 6,505 Data Zones were initially designed, based on the 2001 Census. Following the 2011 Census, there are currently 6,976 Data Zones covering the whole of Scotland.

143 of the current Datazones are in Scottish Borders. You can use our guide to the Scottish Borders 2011 Data Zone names and codes to help identify the areas you need information for.  

The next review of Scottish Datazones will be for the 2021 Census, which has been delayed to 2022 due to COVID-19. This will result in a new set of Datazone boundaries, which will eventually supercede 2011 Datazones as the standard Datazone geography. Information will still be released for 2011 Datazones until at least 2026, in order to allow data providers to adjust to the new system. 

Datazones will only change when there has been major change to local housing and the former boundary no longer meets the needs of the new community. Most of the Datazones will remain the same and will be carried forward into the new set of boundaries, remaining as they were in 2011. This gives us some continuity and allows us to analyse social and demographic changes over time.

Intermediate Zones

Intermediate Zones are a statistical geography that sits between Datazones and Council Areas.

Intermediate Zones are often used for the dissemination of statistics that are not suitable for release at the Datazone level because of the sensitive nature of the statistic, or for reasons of reliability. They are also useful as building blocks for profiling larger towns that have too many Datazones to be manageable, and are convenient for mapping purposes.

Intermediate Zones were designed to meet constraints on population thresholds (2.5k-6k household residents), to nest within council areas, and to be built up from aggregates of Datazones.

Intermediate Zones are also subject to change following a Census. Following Census 2011, there are now 1,279 Intermediate Zones covering the whole of Scotland.

30 of these are in Scottish Borders:

  • Berwickshire Central
  • Berwickshire East
  • Berwickshire West
  • Burnfoot and area
  • Cheviot East
  • Cheviot West
  • Coldstream and area
  • Duns
  • Earlston, Lauder and Stow area
  • Ettrick, Yarrow and Yair
  • Eyemouth
  • Galashiels North
  • Galashiels South
  • Galashiels West
  • Hawick Central
  • Hawick North
  • Hawick West End
  • Innerleithen and Walkerburn area
  • Jedburgh
  • Kelso North
  • Kelso South
  • Langlee
  • Melrose and Tweedbank area
  • Newcastleton and Teviot area
  • Peebles North
  • Peebles South
  • Selkirk
  • St Boswells and Newtown area
  • West Linton and Broughton area

A selection of recent Intermediate Zone Area Profiles  is available for these areas. An Area Profile is a summary of demographic and socio-economic information about an area. If you don't see the one you are looking for or would like more information, contact the Research and Information Team using the contact details below.

Research and information team

Contact the Corporate Performance and Information Research and Information Team for demographics research-related enquiries

Address: Council Headquarters
Newtown St. Boswells

Telephone: 01835 824000