Data specification and definitions

  1. Overview
  2. Data field formats
  3. Data field descriptions

Overview

Number of records1,756,368
Last updated
Update frequencyQuarterly (Feburary, May, August and November)
Data formatsCSV, SQL, XLS
Languageen-GB
EncodingUTF-8
SupplyOnline download (zip format – 432.9MB)

Data field formats

Field nameFormatExample
postcodeVARCHAR(8)HP5 2LU
districtVARCHAR(4)HP5
locationVARCHAR(45)Chesham
countyVARCHAR(37)Buckinghamshire
countryVARCHAR(16)England
grid_referenceVARCHAR(8)SP954038
eastingINTEGER495468
northingINTEGER203837
latitudeDECIMAL(7,5)51.72514
longitudeDECIMAL(7,5)-0.61922
local_government_areaVARCHAR(44)Chiltern District
regionVARCHAR(24)South East
populationINTEGER36
typeVARCHAR(14)Geographic
digestCHAR(32)4c433fcc8c0d7949e28536ba9b3e2b90

Data field descriptions

Postcode

This field contains the full 6-8 character postcode unit. All postcodes are written in standard format and include a single space between the outward and inward codes. The file lists every unique postcode unit currently in active use. Historical and obsolete postcodes are not included.

District

This field contains the relevant postcode district for the postcode – identified by the outward portion of the postcode (the part before the space).

Location

This field contains the relevant populated place for the postcode, as defined by Ordnance Survey.

County

The ceremonial county (as defined by Ordnance Survey) for each postcode.

Country

This field contains the relevant country name for each postcode.

Grid Reference

The grid reference for the postcode. All grid references use the OSGB36 British National Grid.

Easting and Northing

The easting and northing fields contain the exact coordinates for the center point of each postcode. All eastings and northings use the OSGB36 British National Grid. Coordinates for the Channel Islands and Isle of Man are approximated to postcode district level.

Latitude and Longitude

The latitude and longitude fields contain the exact coordinates for the center point of each postcode. For all records the coordinates use the WGS84 World Geodetic System. Coordinates for the Channel Islands and Isle of Man are approximated to postcode district level.

Local Government Area

The local goverment area for each postcode (i.e. the name of the relevant unitary authority, borough or district council, or London borough).

Region

The first-level NUTS region for each postcode.

Population

This field contains the resident population of the postcode during the 2011 census. Postcodes with no resident population (City Center Commercial Areas, Industrial Parks, PO Boxes, Airports etc) will have a population of 0. New postcodes introduced since the 2011 census are also listed with a population of 0.

Type

This field contains the type of postcode: Geographic or Non-Geographic. Please note that Non-Geographic postcodes are used for sorting purposes only and the coordinates provided in the data typically indicate the corresponding delivery office.

Digest

This field contains a unique identifier for every record in the data. It is 32 character alphanumeric string, created by taking an MD5 hash of all other fields in the record.