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Help: Finding data

Back to Getting Started


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.


As well as finding data by theme or topic, you can explore the datasets by place via the Atlas section. The statistical datasets on this site refer to particular geographical areas or organisations (which we sometimes refer to as 'features'). Examples might include a country as a whole, a council area, parliamentary constituency or ward. Some datasets may use organisations such as schools or hospitals.

Choosing 'Atlas' from the tabs at the very top of the page, takes you to the top of the hierarchy of 'places'. From there you can browse through the hierarchy of areas contained within that area.

On each atlas page, you can find:

  • A list of properties 'about' the feature (area or organisation etc.)
  • A map showing where that feature is: you can use the drop down to change what you see, and you can click on areas to navigate to them or add them to your cart.
  • A list of the areas or organisations 'within' the feature you're currently viewing.
  • A 'profile' about the area or organisation, broken down by theme.
  • Links to datasets which mention the feature, also broken down by theme.
  • Finally, there's technical information such as license, (RDF) metadata, and downloads

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.