Research and data

Scottish Borders Data Zones and Intermediate Zones

Data Zones in the Scottish Borders

Scottish Data Zones are the primary geography for the release of small area statistics in Scotland.

They are composed of Census Output Areas and are large enough that statistics can be presented accurately without fear of disclosure and yet 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

Data Zones can be aggregated like building blocks, to represent a larger community of interest that population statistics wouldn't normally be available for. An example might include when there is a split in a Community Council area or an Electoral Ward or school catchment area, and we want to analyse which is the best way to draw the new boundary. 

Data Zones 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. The 6,505 '2001 Data Zones' were based on the 2001 Census. Following Census 2011, there are now 6,976 Data Zones covering the whole of Scotland.

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

Data Zones 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 Data Zones 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 sit between Data Zones and Council Areas.

Intermediate Zones are often used for the dissemination of statistics that are not suitable for release at the Data Zone 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 many Data Zones, 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 Data Zones.

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