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Finding data on the UK for journalists, researchers and campaigners

About the Book

A wealth of data is available on the UK, its people, economy, government and public services, hidden only by the fact you have to know where to look for it. The aim of this book is to point out good places to look, particularly for journalists but also for campaigners, researchers and others. While it doesn't aim to be comprehensive, it does aim to highlight a wide range of reliable sources.

The first section aims to provide a guide to the many sources of data on Britain and its public sector which will help you find stories or carry out research with them, broadly divided into open data about the UK; data on national government; data on locally-based government services including councils, police, NHS; data generated by the democratic process; Freedom of Information; other sources; and some tips on dealing with data. The second section provides specific data on local authority areas of the UK.

About the Author

SA Mathieson
SA Mathieson

SA Mathieson is a freelance analyst, journalist and editor, specialising in healthcare, government and IT. He was launch editor of the Guardian’s Healthcare Professionals Network, and writes for publications including The Register and

He has run data journalism training for the National Union of Journalists, the Press Association, the Office for National Statistics, City Lit in London and Birmingham City University. He also provides courses on working as a freelancer for the NUJ, as well as one-to-one training in person or online: more information here. New courses are publicised through his mailing list.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction: I spy
    • About this book
      • What is open data?
      • What this book does and doesn’t cover
      • Rounding
      • Wikipedia
      • Journalists’ Local Authority Directory
      • July 2019 update, thanks and accuracy
  • Open data about Britain
      • What do you mean by Britain?
    • How many people?
      • Dividing up Britain: nations and regions
      • Dividing up nations and regions: top-tier local authorities
    • How big and how dense?
    • How healthy?
      • The 2011 Census
    • How big an economy?
    • An independent Scotland and Brexit
  • National government
    • Departments and organisations
      • The government of England
    • Financial data
    • Detailed spending data
    • Organisational reports, accounts and meeting records
    • Data on companies, property, vehicles and artworks
  • Local government, NHS, police and other local services
    • Structure of local government
      • Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
      • English devolution
      • English county councils
    • Structure of the NHS
      • Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
      • Clinical commissioning groups in England
      • Trusts providing hospital, mental health and community care in England
      • Ambulance services
    • Structure of the police
    • Structure of fire services
    • Local and devolved government open data
    • Health, policing and fire data
  • Debates, committees and auditors
    • Hansard
      • Other national assemblies
      • Select committees
    • Official auditors
  • Freedom of Information
    • Other people’s FoI responses
    • How to make an FoI request
    • How to manage FoI requests
    • What can happen if you appeal an FoI refusal
    • Bulk FoI
      • An example of bulk FoI
    • The Data Protection Act: data on people
      • GDPR
  • Other source of data
    • International
      • UN agencies
      • Other international organisations
      • European Union
      • Open data from other countries
    • Google
    • Surveys
    • Legal material
    • Leaks
  • Dealing with data
    • Fermi estimates
    • What to do when you get it wrong
      • Costa Coffee Fermi estimate and answer
  • Data on local authority areas
      • ENGLAND
      • County Durham
      • Darlington
      • Hartlepool
      • Middlesbrough
      • Northumberland
      • Redcar and Cleveland
      • Stockton-on-Tees
      • Gateshead
      • Newcastle upon Tyne
      • North Tyneside
      • South Tyneside
      • Sunderland
      • Blackburn with Darwen
      • Blackpool
      • Cheshire East
      • Cheshire West and Chester
      • Halton
      • Warrington
      • Cumbria
      • Bolton
      • Bury
      • Manchester
      • Oldham
      • Rochdale
      • Salford
      • Stockport
      • Tameside
      • Trafford
      • Wigan
      • Lancashire
      • Knowsley
      • Liverpool
      • Sefton
      • St. Helens
      • Wirral
      • East Riding of Yorkshire
      • Kingston upon Hull, City of
      • North East Lincolnshire
      • North Lincolnshire
      • York
      • North Yorkshire
      • Barnsley
      • Doncaster
      • Rotherham
      • Sheffield
      • Bradford
      • Calderdale
      • Kirklees
      • Leeds
      • Wakefield
      • Derby
      • Leicester
      • Nottingham
      • Rutland
      • Derbyshire
      • Leicestershire
      • Lincolnshire
      • Northamptonshire
      • Nottinghamshire
      • Herefordshire, County of
      • Shropshire
      • Stoke-on-Trent
      • Telford and Wrekin
      • Staffordshire
      • Warwickshire
      • Birmingham
      • Coventry
      • Dudley
      • Sandwell
      • Solihull
      • Walsall
      • Wolverhampton
      • Worcestershire
    • EAST
      • Bedford
      • Central Bedfordshire
      • Luton
      • Peterborough
      • Southend-on-Sea
      • Thurrock
      • Cambridgeshire
      • Essex
      • Hertfordshire
      • Norfolk
      • Suffolk
    • LONDON
      • Camden
      • City of London
      • Hackney
      • Hammersmith and Fulham
      • Haringey
      • Islington
      • Kensington and Chelsea
      • Lambeth
      • Lewisham
      • Newham
      • Southwark
      • Tower Hamlets
      • Wandsworth
      • Westminster
      • Barking and Dagenham
      • Barnet
      • Bexley
      • Brent
      • Bromley
      • Croydon
      • Ealing
      • Enfield
      • Greenwich
      • Harrow
      • Havering
      • Hillingdon
      • Hounslow
      • Kingston upon Thames
      • Merton
      • Redbridge
      • Richmond upon Thames
      • Sutton
      • Waltham Forest
      • Bracknell Forest
      • Brighton and Hove
      • Isle of Wight
      • Medway
      • Milton Keynes
      • Portsmouth
      • Reading
      • Slough
      • Southampton
      • West Berkshire
      • Windsor and Maidenhead
      • Wokingham
      • Buckinghamshire
      • East Sussex
      • Hampshire
      • Kent
      • Oxfordshire
      • Surrey
      • West Sussex
      • Bath and North East Somerset
      • Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole
      • Bristol, City of
      • Cornwall
      • Isles of Scilly
      • North Somerset
      • Plymouth
      • South Gloucestershire
      • Swindon
      • Torbay
      • Wiltshire
      • Devon
      • Dorset
      • Gloucestershire
      • Somerset
    • WALES
      • Isle of Anglesey
      • Gwynedd
      • Conwy
      • Denbighshire
      • Flintshire
      • Wrexham
      • Powys
      • Ceredigion
      • Pembrokeshire
      • Carmarthenshire
      • Swansea
      • Neath Port Talbot
      • Bridgend
      • Vale of Glamorgan
      • Cardiff
      • Rhondda Cynon Taf
      • Merthyr Tydfil
      • Caerphilly
      • Blaenau Gwent
      • Torfaen
      • Monmouthshire
      • Newport
      • Aberdeen City
      • Aberdeenshire
      • Angus
      • Argyll and Bute
      • Clackmannanshire
      • Dumfries and Galloway
      • Dundee City
      • East Ayrshire
      • East Dunbartonshire
      • East Lothian
      • East Renfrewshire
      • City of Edinburgh
      • Na h-Eileanan Siar
      • Falkirk
      • Fife
      • Glasgow City
      • Highland
      • Inverclyde
      • Midlothian
      • Moray
      • North Ayrshire
      • North Lanarkshire
      • Orkney Islands
      • Perth and Kinross
      • Renfrewshire
      • Scottish Borders
      • Shetland Islands
      • South Ayrshire
      • South Lanarkshire
      • Stirling
      • West Dunbartonshire
      • West Lothian
      • Antrim and Newtownabbey
      • Ards and North Down
      • Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon
      • Belfast
      • Causeway Coast and Glens
      • Derry City and Strabane
      • Fermanagh and Omagh
      • Lisburn and Castlereagh
      • Mid and East Antrim
      • Mid Ulster
      • Newry, Mourne and Down
  • Notes

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