InFuse, an online search facility for census data, is enabling tailored search and investigation of UK census statistics – opening new opportunities for aggregating and comparing population counts.

Impacts

  • InFuse data were used for the 'Smarter Travel' research project studying how 'smart choices' for sustainable travel could be implemented and supported in transport planning. The research directly influenced UK climate-change agendas and policy, including:
    • the UK Committee on Climate Change recommendations on cost-effective-emission reductions
    • the Scottish Government’s targets and household advice for smarter travel
    • the UK Government's Local Sustainable Transport Fund supporting 96 projects across England
    • evaluations for numerous Local Authority Transport Plans across the UK.
  • The Integration Hub, a web resource that was launched by Demos in 2015 to provide data about ethnic integration in England and Wales, uses data from InFuse to populate its interactive maps of the UK.
  • Census data downloaded from InFuse informed the Welsh Government for policies to engage Gypsy and Traveller families in education, showing that over 60 per cent aged over 16 from these communities had no qualifications.
  • Executive recruitment firm Sapphire Partners used census data from InFuse in a report on female representation on boards, revealing that 77 per cent of FTSE board members are men, and 70 per cent of new board appointments go to men.
  • A study by the Marie Curie charity into the differing needs of Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups in Scotland for end-of-life care used InFuse to determine that the minority ethnic population in Scotland has doubled since 2001 from 100,000 to 200,000 – highlighting the need for greater and more appropriate provision.
  • A Knowledge Transfer Partnership between homelessness charity Llamau and Cardiff University used InFuse data to show that Welsh young homeless people participating in the study were over twice as likely to have left school with no qualifications compared to UK-wide figures for their age group and gender.

About the resource

UK census data are fundamental to improving the understanding of life in the UK, enabling informed decisions by providing relevant and independent statistics. In the past, analysis of UK census data has been constrained by the separation of data and metadata, limiting social science investigations and research. InFuse is one of a range of advanced search and exploration applications developed by the ESRC-funded UK Data Service Census Support team.

In November 2013, the data held in InFuse were made open to all, providing easy access to 'aggregate statistics' from the UK 2011 and 2001 Censuses (ie counts of the numbers of people and households with a particular set of characteristics). Combining data supplied by each of the three national statistical agencies into InFuse has widened the scope for research projects that require access to UK-level census aggregate data and those that compare areas across the UK. The opportunity for users to access these data from a single integrated system is a unique feature of InFuse, and access to data via InFuse underpins a wide range of research across the higher education, public policy and commercial sectors.

Usage of InFuse is increasing, with the majority of downloads coming from UK higher education institutions. Other users include local and central government, commercial organisations, the NHS, charities and non-profit organisations.