Bigger Map Smaller Map

Currently showing:
Percentage of persons entitled to voluntary schooling attending in 2001 for District/Unitary Authority

Percentage of persons entitled to voluntary schooling attending in 2001 for District/Unitary Authority

This is about people choosing education, and therefore excludes those required to attend by law. For 1851, when no schooling was compulsory, we compare numbers at school with the total aged 5 to 14. For 1981 to 2001, we focus on those aged 16 and 17, i.e. people over the school leaving age but not old enough to have moved away to university. Obviously, whether or not someone stays on at school depends partly on their own choices, partly on their parents and, often in large part, on economic need.

The 1851 pattern is not easily summarised. The problems of combining data from the special schools census with population totals from the main census are shown by the Scilly Isles having 138% of those aged 5 to 14 at school, but no other district had rates over 85%. Overall, Wales and the south west, and most industrial areas had low numbers at school, while the whole west side of London had consistently high numbers.

Jumping 130 years to 1981, a very clear north-south divide appears. The south east, apart from districts along the lower Thames, had very high rates of children staying on at school, while industrial areas in South Wales, the north and Scotland had much lower rates. For example, 68% of children in Barnet, and Kensington and Chelsea, stayed on at school while only 41% did in Hull and 34% Glasgow. Overall rates for Great Britain rose substantially between 1981 and 2001, from 54% to 77%, but the geographical pattern changed little.

Rate definition

Options (reloads page)


The "Statistical atlas" lets you view our British statistical data rates by theme in their entirety as maps for both modern local authorities and historical units.

Please note that although there are some statistics within the system relating to places outside Great Britain, particularly Ireland, the majority of our statistics are British and this is reflected in the presentation of data within the Statistical atlas.

How it works

The Statistical atlas presents national views of rates. This differs from the specific numeric data for individual administrative units presented in the "Units & Statistics" part of the place pages accessed via typing in a place-name on the homepage.

Select a theme by clicking on a theme title. You must then decide whether you wish to view data for modern local authorities or historical units. At the top of the theme page are the links to rate maps for modern units. Select one to enter the atlas. Alternatively, at the bottom of the theme page are links to maps of rates only available in their historical units.

After selecting a rate we are presented with the map page showing the selected rate. On the left hand side is the map legend and some generic subject information about the theme. Below the text is a link to the "Rate definition" which takes you out of the statistical atlas and into the description of the nCube for that theme within the data documentation system.

Beneath this are various "Options" for altering the mapped rate. With the exception of the "Political Life" theme, drop down menus exist to change the mapped rate or to select an alternative unit type. All themes have the option to select alternative dates. Selecting a different date will change the map to display re-districted data i.e. statistics which are estimates for the same (modern) geographical area going back over time. More information on how this was achieved is available here.

The map window on the right can be zoomed and panned. Using the drop down menu at the top left of the map window you can select and add a "base layer" map image beneath the transparent statistical map to help you understand the geography of the rates. The window itself can be expanded to see a bigger map using the "Bigger map" option at the top right of the map window. If this function is enabled, the information given on the left will automatically move to below the map.

About the data

The statistics come from national overviews, including Censuses, Surveys and other collated tables. You should be aware that the same information was not always collected, the questions change over time to suit contemporary conditions. For example, in the 2011 Census English households were asked about their car ownership, but this would have been of little relevance in 1921 when very few people owned their own vehicle. Conversely, the 1951 question about whether your household had shared access or no access to piped water has disappeared because it is now assumed that all, or virtually all, households will have exclusive use of a piped hot water supply. This is why not all themes have data in all years, the dates available vary according to the questions asked.

We should also point out that we have not digitised all possible historical statistics. Although we have gone a significant way to capturing and integrating suitable tables useful for our themes, this is a labour intensive and time-consuming process. We have tried to focus on particular tables to produce runs of data and in this sense the "Population" theme is the fullest. We continue to work on improving the data, both in its consistency and its accuracy as well as its extent.