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Rural Urban Classification (2001) of MSOAs in England and Wales
Office for National Statistics
20 September 2023
This file provides a rural-urban view of 2001 Middle Layer Super Output Areas (MSOA) in England and Wales. The ZIP file contains the Rural Urban Classification in XLSX and CSV format and includes a user guide. The files were originally from the NeSS website. Click on the Download button to download the ZIP file.
The classification of rural and urban areas is the outcome of a project co-sponsored by:
Office for National Statistics (ONS);
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra);
Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (now Communities and Local Government);
Countryside Agency (CA); and
National Assembly for Wales (NAW).
The classification was developed in 2004 by a consortium co-ordinated by Prof. John Shepherd from Birkbeck College. The technical work was lead by Peter Bibby of University of Sheffield and the project also involved the University of Glamorgan and Geowise. The rural and urban classification of Output Areas, Super Output Areas (this dataset) and Wards has been provided to enable datasets to be analysed according to the classification. This provides a powerful tool for the development and monitoring of rural and urban policies.
Please Note: Super Output Areas do not have all the same codes as the OA level Dataset. For SOAs and Wards the classifications for ‘Villages, Hamlets and Isolated Dwellings’ have been combined.
Similar procedures to those used to classify Output Areas apply to the classification to the 7,194 Middle Layer Super Output Areas in the dataset. However the morphological classification differs in the number of categories as very few MSOAs can be classified as predominantly dispersed settlements. MSOAs are categorised into just three domains: urban 10k, town and fringe and villages, hamlets and isolated dwellings, using the key below:
2005 Rural and Urban morphology indicator
1 - denotes predominantly urban >10k
2 - denotes predominantly town and fringe
3 - denotes other rural (including village, hamlet and isolated dwellings)