Useful Geographic Datasets

There’s more data out there than ever before and I’m keen for students and researchers to make full use of it. Here are a number of my “go to” places for good data for geographers. This has a UK focus to reflect my interests.

UK Population Data

Datashine: This maps the 2011 Census for England and Wales – look out for the “Data” button on the bottom – this will give you a csv file for the data in front of you. For Scottish data see here.

Nomis: This is the official source of England and Wales census data but it isn’t for the faint hearted if you aren’t sure what you are looking for. It’s worth spending some time on though since the data available are the most comprehensive. Scottish census data come from here.

UK Data Service: This provides historic census data as well as some other interesting population datasets – like Nomis it’s slightly tricky to browse unless you know what you’re looking for.

ONS Data Explorer: Eng/Wales national statistics data.

Consumer Data Research Centre: Offers a wide range of datasets that are of relevance to those interested in consumer behaviour. It also has a lot of information of use to local authorities. The map portal works well too.

English Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD), Scottish IMDWelsh IMD


These offer all kinds of great data – much of it with a geographical component.

London Datastore: Everything you need to know about London.

UK Govt Data store: Like the London Datastore but for the UK – a little trickier to navigate.

Global Datasets

Our World In Data: Very comprehensive data source – look out for the “Data” tab to the top right of the graphics.

UN Data: Lots of good global data here if you forgive the slightly dated interface.

EUROSTAT: For European data – a terrible interface to a lots of interesting datasets. Start with selecting a specific topic from the homepage and go from there.

Geographic Boundaries

UK Census Boundaries

ONS Geography Portal: Nice easy to use interface for the download of all kinds of boundary data required UK and European statistics.

Natural Earth: A great source of global boundary data as well as a great source of contextual data for base maps.

GADM: If you are looking for more granular boundaries at the global level this is your best bet.