Data specification and definitions

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


Number of records1,754,675
Last updated
Update frequencyQuarterly (Feburary, May, August and November)
Geographic coverageEngland, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands
Data formatsCSV, SQL, XLS
SupplyOnline download (zip format – 397.2MB)

Data field formats

Field nameFormatExample
postcodeVARCHAR(8)HP5 2LU
local_government_areaVARCHAR(44)Chiltern District
regionVARCHAR(24)South East

Data field descriptions


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 by the Royal Mail. Historical and obsolete postcodes are not included.


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

Postal town

This field contains the relevant postal town for the postcode. Postal towns can cover one or more postal districts and may cover multiple smaller towns or villages.


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


This field contains the relevant country name for each postcode. The data covers England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

Grid Reference

The grid reference for the postcode. All grid references use the OSGB36 British National Grid, except Northern Ireland which use the TM75 Irish Grid

Easting and Northing

The easting and northing fields contain the exact coordinates for the center point of each postcode. For England, Wales, Scotland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, the easting and northing use the OSGB36 British National Grid. For Northern Ireland, the easting and northing use the TM75 Irish Grid.

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.

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).


The first-level NUTS region for each postcode.


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


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.