Welcome to the NISRA Geography web pages where you can access and download a range of maps and digital products that support the use of geography in developing statistics.

The new statistical output geographies for Census 2021 will be published on 21 February 2023. Digital boundaries for Data Zones and Super Data Zones will be available to download. Information relating to how the new geographies have been developed will accompany the release, and will include information on how other Northern Ireland geographies can be approximated.

The Central Postcode Directory (CPD) relates both current and terminated postcodes in Northern Ireland to a range of statutory, administrative, electoral and other area geographies. It comes with a comprehensive guidance document to assist users.

Look-up tables have been designed to assist in the creation of statistics for Local Government Districts (LGD2014), District Electoral Areas (DEA2014), Settlements and the default urban-rural definition on an approximate basis using Small Areas or Super Output Areas as building blocks. Guidance documents for this process are also available. 

A range of digital products available for download are for use within both Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and also the main statistical software systems.

All products relate to the Irish Grid or Grid Square references.

Related statistics

Central Postcode Directory

The Central Postcode Directory (CPD) has been compiled for users by NISRA Geography. It relates both current and terminated postcodes in Northern Ireland to a range of statutory, administrative, electoral and other area geographies.

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Northern Ireland Small Areas

Small Areas (SAs) have been introduced in Northern Ireland after the 2011 Census. Small Areas are generally created by amalgamating 2001 Census Output Areas. Small Areas nest within the 890 Super Output Areas and the 582 Electoral Wards in Northern Ireland. There are 4,537 SAs in Northern Ireland.

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Northern Ireland Super Output Areas

Super Output Areas (SOAs) were a new geography that were developed NISRA to improve the reporting of small area statistics. A set of slightly revised Super Output Areas (SOAs) were created for the 2011 census outputs. Details on what changes have been made are included in the SOA Background Paper.

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Urban - Rural Classification

Guidance and supporting information on the statistical classification and delineation of urban/rural areas and settlements in Northern Ireland

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Neighbourhood Renewal Areas (DfC)

Neighbouhood Renewal Areas (NRAs) are neighbourhoods identified as experiencing the most severe multiple deprivation and have been chosen to receive support under the Department for Communities People and Place strategy for Neighbourhood Renewal. In total 36 neighbourhoods have been identified to receive support.  

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Northern Ireland Travel to Work Areas (TTWAs)

Travel to Work Areas (TTWAs) are zones defined where the bulk of their resident population work within the same area.  The fundamental criterion used in their creation is that, of the resident economically active population, at least 75 per cent actually work in the area, and also, that of everyone working in the area, at least 75 per cent actually live in the area.  

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Northern Ireland Workplace Zones

Workplace zones are based on 2011 Small Areas (SA), which are then merged or split using thresholds of workers or workplace postcodes. Workplace zones are created by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on behalf of NISRA.

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Grid Square Products

The two Grid Square products are the 1km grid squares, and the combined  1km and 100 metre grid squares in Northern Ireland. This page provides background and maps.

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Northern Ireland Output Areas

Output Areas (OAs) were introduced in Northern Ireland after the 2001 Census. They nest within the 582 Electoral Wards in Northern Ireland and were designed to have similar population sizes of around 125 households and 350 people, they are also as socially similar as possible. There are 5022 OAs in Northern Ireland.

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Peacelines (NIO)

The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) have supplied NISRA with the locations of peacelines throughout Northern Ireland as of October 2006.

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Useful links

This page provides useful links to boundary maps on OpenDataNI, online maps from the Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland (OSNI), and image files and interactive maps on the Northern Ireland Neighbourhood Information Service (NINIS) website.

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Contacts for Geography

NISRA Geography

NISRA Geography
Colby House
Stranmillis Court