The 2001 Census has been successfully administered and the Census Organisations are currently engaged in processing the returns. A very large and rich dataset will be produced for the 58,789,194 people of the UK. The Census Area Statistics, for example, delivers 190 tables containing about 6 thousand unique counts relating to the characteristics of the UK population, for output areas and all higher geographies. This paper represents the first results of a project that aims to develop, in collaboration with the Office for National Statistics, a set of general purpose classifications at different geographic scales, including households, neighbourhoods, wards, local authorities and to link the classifications at different levels together. The paper reports on the methods used and results of a classification of the UK’s 434 Local Authorities, using the Key Statistics released in February 2003. This initial classification and description of methods will feed into the ONS/GROS/NISRA project to classify Local Authorities for the whole UK. \ud Further data or digital versions of the classification system are available on request. \u
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