How to explore Census 2021 data in Community Insight

You can view Census 2021 indicators across Community Insight through Dashboards, Maps and Reports.

To make it easier to locate the new census indicators they all have (Census 2021) in their indicator titles. 

The Dashboard 

The easiest way to see Census 2021 indicators for your stock groups is by using the Dashboard.

  1. Open the Dashboard tab
  2. Click the Data icon 
  3. Select Build a custom dashboard
  4. Use the search bar to find the census indicator you want, for example, Pensioner living alone. Or type in the key search term Census 2021
  5. You can select both the 2011 and 2021 timepoints (Not all the 2021 indicators have corresponding 2011 indicators as some questions were asked for the first time in the 2021 census)
  6. Click on the ‘currently selected’ theme to see the indicators you have selected (this will also show you if they are assigned to a theme or not, which will be useful to know when it comes to adding indicators to the map)
  7. When you are happy with your selection, click the blue Done button.

The Map

Not all Census 2021 indicators will be available on your map’s data menu by default. Many of the indicators will be in the unassigned theme. This means that they will need to be added to a theme by Group Admin users on the manage indicators page before they can be viewed on the map.

Additionally, depending on how your themes have been set up by your organisation, you may find that the indicators are somewhat spread around various themes.

We provide guidance below on where to look, but please get in touch with our support team if you are having trouble we are happy to help.

The Census 2021 theme on the map

Back in June 2022 when the first round of census data was released, we created a theme for all our clients titled Census 2021. This contained the 25 headline usual resident population indicators (by sex and age). Originally ,this data was only published at local authority level and rounded to the nearest 100. 

ONS has published the small-area equivalents of:

  • All people (Census 2021)
  • All Males (Census 2021)
  • All Females (Census 2021)

We have now updated these indicators in the Census 2021 theme with the more granular data, so that you can see the data at MSOA and LSOA level as well as for all stock groups.  

You can use this Census 2021 theme as you choose:

  • Keep as is with key population indicators
  • Remove Census 2021 theme and move the indicators to alternative themes
  • Use the Census 2021 theme as your go-to theme for Census 2021 data to help your colleagues find data more easily.

Any changes to the Census 2021 theme need to be managed by a Group Admin, using the Manage Indicators functionality.


New indicators for Census 2021

Some indicators are  based on questions that were asked for the first time in Census 2021. For example, the indicator Married: Same-sex. These new indicators (that do not have 2011 counterparts) are not available on your Community Insight Map by default. Group Admin users can add these indicators to the maps using the Manage Indicators functionality.


Census 2021 indicators that have Census 2011 counterparts

If you already had an existing Census 2011 indicator displaying on your map, which has now been updated, it will be automatically replaced with the Census 2021 data. For example, the Pensioner living alone indicator.



Some census indicators will also be updated and included in your Community Insight reports. We will inform you which indicators have been updated in reports as part of each data release.

You will need to update your reports to see the latest Census 2021 data after each release.

Compare Census 2011 and Census 2021 data in Community Insight 

You can compare Census 2021 indicators with their 2011 counterparts in Community Insight through the Dashboard and on the Maps.


View 2021 and 2011 data on the Maps 

When viewing an indicator on the map, click on the name and the corresponding 2011 indicator will show underneath it. 

Use the Data for your areas popup

The Data for your areas popup shows a table with the percentage and count data for the indicator you’ve selected for all your stock groups. When viewing the census indicators you can see 4 columns: percentage and count data for the 2021 and 2011 census timepoints. 

How to open the data for your areas popup

  • Click on the Data button to open the menu and click on the name of the dataset to view it on the map.
  • Click on the Info button, in the top right hand corner
  • Click Data for your areas to see the data for your stock groups.

On the dashboard

Use the build a custom dashboard tool to select any of the 2021 and 2011 census indicators to view on your dashboard. 

Top tip: Use the search bar and type in 2011 or 2021 to filter for the relevant indicators.

Organise the new census data in your Community Insight Group

Group Admin users can add new indicators to the maps using the Manage Indicators option.

To do this:

  1. Go to the Group admin tab and click Manage Indicators
  2. Click on the theme titled unassigned located under the themes header 
  3. Search for the census indicator by typing the indicator name or a keyword such as Census 2021.
  4. Drag and drop the indicator into a theme 
  5. Check the box underneath the map column to show that indicator on your groups map

Upcoming census releases 

ONS has a release calendar that is regularly updated to provide information on upcoming releases. Once ONS publishes the data, we aim to have data live within 3 working days.