Interaction Data Sets In The UK: An Audit


Interaction or flow data involves counts of flows between origin and destination areas and can be extracted from a range of sources. The Centre for Interaction Data Estimation and Research (CIDER) maintains a web-based system (WICID) that allows academic researchers to access and extract migration and commuting flow data (the so-called Origin-Destination Statistics) from the last three censuses. However, there are many other sources of interaction data other than the decadal census, including national administrative or registration procedures and large scale social surveys. This paper contains an audit of interaction data sets in the UK, providing detailed description and exemplification in each case and outlining the advantages and shortcomings of the different types of data where appropriate. The Census Origin-Destination Statistics have been described elsewhere in detail and only a short synopsis is provided here together with review of the interaction data that can be derived from other census products. The primary aims of the audit are to identify those interaction data sets that exist that might complement the census origin-destination statistics currently contained in WICID and to assess their suitability and availability as potential data sets to be held in an expanded version of WICID. Tables or flow data sets are included for exemplification. The paper concludes with a series of recommendations as to which of these data sets should be incorporated into a new information system for interaction flows that complement the census data and also provide opportunities for new research projects

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