Life in Britain: Using Millennial Census data to understand poverty, inequality and place

The latest census reveals that within the UK people live in very different worlds. For some, resources and amenities abound; for others life is characterised by deprivation and difficulties even when their need for support is great.

The 2001 census marked the bi-centenary of census taking in the UK. It is the most comprehensive social record of life in this country now available. Since 1801 successive governments have asked the population to assist in the taking of a census so that they can strive to improve living conditions, raise hopes and reduce the fears of the population.

This project has produced a series of 10 short reports showing key patterns and inequalities in life in the UK as revealed by the 2001 Census. The project focuses on differences between areas within the UK, highlighting those where services and opportunities appear not to be available or accessible and often finding that they are lacking or missing in the places that need them most.

Each of the 10 reports stands alone as a description and analysis of what the 2001 Census can tell us about a particular issue in contemporary Britain. The series taken together gives an overall view of poverty, inequality and place. The reports are accompanied by five posters, each giving a striking insight into one of five themes, raising issues and illustrating them with maps and photographs. Finally, the pack includes a technical report, which can be consulted for project background, details of data and methods, further analyses, and overarching observations and conclusions.

On 1st September 2005, we published Life in Britain, a resource pack for students, teachers, researchers and policy makers, based on a project funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. The pack was prepared by Ben Wheeler, Mary Shaw, Rich Mitchell and Danny Dorling. Please go to the Material section to get an overview of what is available online.

Photographs © Mary Shaw, 2005

Note: This project was originally titled Patterns and processes of poverty and place: New evidence from the millenial census.

Life in Britain: Using Millennial Census data to understand poverty, inequality and place