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Help: Finding data

Back to Getting Started

Datasets

The data on this site is organised into datasets. A dataset is a collection of data on a particular topic, accompanied by metadata explaining what it's about. The first step to finding data is to select relevant datasets.

The quickest way to find a dataset is usually to use the Search function, which you can find in the navigation bar at the top right of every page. Enter keywords that you are interested in and the search returns datasets where the title or description matches your search term.

The Explore menu in the navigation bar at the top of every page offers a variety of ways to browse for data. Datasets are organised into folders (e.g thematically or by organisation). These folders are also listed on the home page.

A full list of datasets in alphabetical order is also available.

Inside a dataset

Each dataset in the system contains a lot of information. How to find and select the data you want is explained in the Dataset Help.

Places

As well as finding data by theme or topic, you can explore the datasets by place. The statistical datasets on this site refer to particular geographical areas. Examples might include a country as a whole, a council area, parliamentary constituency or ward.

Choosing 'By area' from the Explore menu, takes you to a page showing the geographic hierarchy for this website. From there you can browse through the hierarchy of areas contained within that area.

On each geography page, the 'Data' tab shows a table of summary information about that area. You can click on individual values in the table to go to the relevant dataset. Scroll down to see a list of all the datasets which contain information about that area.

The 'Downloads' tab allows you to download the table of statistics about this area as a CSV file, or to download the boundary of this area as a GeoJSON file.

API

Most pages in this site have an API tab which includes contextual details of how to access the data programmatically. The API tab on the Getting Started help page describes some overarching principles.