Data collection review

Article dated: 1 October 2009

The RELU-DSS, based at the UK Data Archive, is carrying out a review of the entire UK Data Archive data collection to identify datasets that have potential for use in rural and urban analysis. This review is funded by the Commission for Rural Communities (CRC), who are keen to develop their evidence base by using existing national scale survey data to undertake rural and urban analyses. Such analyses enable the CRC to provide independent advice and information for local, regional and national level policy makers on the needs of people living and working in rural England, with a particular focus on tackling disadvantage. One of the major outputs of the CRC is its biennial State of the Countryside report.

The review will identify national scale data collections, with representative samples for England, that contain rural variables like the Office for National Statistics 2004 rural/urban area classification, or datasets that have potential for rural/urban recoding.

The CRC is also keen to encourage researchers to use rural and urban settlement markers as part of standard socio-economic variables in surveys. Variables like the rural/urban classification would enable secondary analysis to reveal rural (and urban) patterns in the data. Further information from this review is available from Veerle Van den Eynden.