Data sources and products

Data sources and products #

The following information was compiled in July 2020

Administrative spatial scales in UK #

The UK is split into different levels of administrative areas and differing amounts of data are available at these different spatial scales. Different government agencies are responsible for the different countries and data may need to be sourced from these different sources.

Top level – UK is split into four Countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

England & Wales


Spatial Scale Average Population Size
Regions 6.2 Million
Upper Tier Local Authorities (UTLA) 1.8 Million
Lower Tier Local Authorities (LTLA) 300,000
Middle Super Output Areas (MSOA) 7500
Lower Super Output Areas (LSOA) 1500


Spatial Scale Average Population Size
Health Boards 390,236
Local Authorities 170,728
Datazones 800
Output Areas 150

The Open Geography portal from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) provides free and open access to the definitive source of geographic products.

Epidemic data #

Data, parameter estimates and distributions about the epidemic from literature sources.

Parameter Reference DOI Available
0/R Barber
Latent period & relative importance of pre-symptomatic period Casey et al. Pre-symptomatic transmission of SARS-CoV-2 infection: a secondary analysis using published data 10.1101/2020.05.08.20094870v2
Incubation period McAloon et al. The incubation period of COVID-19: A rapid systematic review and meta-analysis of observational research 10.1101/2020.04.24.20073957v1
Generation time & serial interval Griffin et al. A rapid review of available evidence on the serial interval and generation time of COVID-19 10.1101/2020.05.08.20095075v1
Proportion of infected who are asymptomatic, by age Casey et al.
Length of infectious period in asymptomatic people and in symptomatic people who do not isolate Byrne et al. Inferred duration of infectious period of SARS-CoV-2: rapid scoping review and analysis of available evidence for asymptomatic and symptomatic COVID-19 cases 10.1101/2020.04.25.20079889v1
Time from onset of symptoms to diagnosis/test results and to hospitalisation Byrne et al.
Length of hospital stay and admission to ICUs Lane et al. Country differences in hospitalisation, length of stay, admission to Intensive Care Units, and mortality due to SARS-CoV-2 infection at the end of the first wave in Europe: a rapid review of available literature 10.1101/2020.05.12.20099473v2
Relative infectiousness of asymptomatic versus symptomatic infected people McAloon et al.

Sources of review articles and literature for epidemic parameters #

  1. The following paper contains information collated from the literature about epidemic parameters. Yinon M. Bar-On, Ron Sender, Avi I. Flamholz, Rob Phillips, Ron Milo. A quantitative compendium of COVID-19 epidemiology. arXiv:2006.01283. It is currently a pre-print, so use with care.

  2. Website from US government that contains literature reviews and data extraction for parameters for a number of measures about the natural history of COVID-19. It uses a combination of AI and human intervention to scrape the literature.

Literature searches in progress #

Topic Searching & Screening Quality checking & synthesising
Asymptomatic In progress In progress

Information about serology-based tests for COVID-19 #

This website collates type of testing in use by country, including sensitivity and specificity, where available.

Latent-class meta-analysis estimating sensitivity and specificity for COVID diagnostics DOI: 10.21203/

ONS Coronavirus infection survey pilot #

This is a national survey (England), collecting throat and nose swabs and accompanying data from individuals in households across England, estimates the prevalence and incidence of SARS-CoV-2 in the community in England.

Health Data sources for progress of COVID-19 epidemic in UK #

Data requirements and sources about the progress of the epidemic in UK (including Scotland). These data are available at different spatial scales and stratified by social factors (eg age, sex, area deprivation, ethnicity). As these are classified as personal data, it may be necessary to obtain special permission to access the data. Permissions will be required for individual level data, finer spatial scales and more stratifications.

Health data are produced separately for Scotland, England and Wales. Public Health England.

UK Government host a website containing higher spatial scales and stratifications for all UK Countries. The website contains definitions and meta-data for all countries and variables.

Data Available at high level spatial scale and no social stratification #

Variable Spatial Scale URL
Daily Deaths UK, England, Scotland, Wales, NI
Daily Deaths Upper Tier LA, Lower Tier LA [England Only]
Lab Confirmed Cases UK, England, Scotland, Wales, NI
Lab Confirmed Cases Upper Tier LA, Lower Tier LA [England Only]
COVID-19 patients admitted to hospital UK, England, Scotland, Wales, NI, England NHS Regions
COVID-19 patients currently in hospital UK, England, Scotland, Wales, NI, England NHS Regions
Patients on ventilation UK, England, Scotland, Wales, NI, England NHS Regions

Other Sources of data #

NHS England - daily deaths

NHS England - hospital activity

Data available with social factors #


Variable Spatial Scale Social Factors
Weekly Deaths – All Cause Scotland, Health Board, Local Authority Age: <1, 1-14, 15-44, 45-64, 65-74, 75-84, 85+
Sex: Male, Female
Location: Care Home, Home/Non-institution, Hospital, Other institution
Weekly Deaths – All Cause (average over previous 5 years) Scotland, Health Board, Local Authority Age: <1, 1-14, 15-44, 45-64, 65-74, 75-84, 85+
Sex: Male, Female
Location: Care Home, Home/Non-institution, Hospital, Other institution
Weekly Deaths – COVID-19 related Scotland, Health Board, Local Authority Age: <1, 1-14, 15-44, 45-64, 65-74, 75-84, 85+
Sex: Male, Female
Location: Care Home, Home/Non-institution, Hospital, Other institution

Hospitalisations, testing and other management data available – SCOTLAND #


These are weekly counts, but not all information is available for all weeks. This table provides a summary of variables available. Please see URL for more complete meta-data.

Variable Spatial Scale
Adult Care Homes (suspected cases, staff absences, returns of information) Scotland, Health Board
Ambulance attendances (suspected COVID-19, suspected COVID-19 taken to hospital, total) Scotland, Health Board
COVID-19 in ICU (suspected, confirmed, total) Scotland, Health Board
COVID-19 in Hospital (suspected, confirmed, total) Scotland, Health Board
Calls (Coronavirus helpline, NHS24 111) Scotland, Health Board
Delayed discharges Scotland, Health Board
NHS workforce COVID-19 absences (All staff, medical & dental, nursing & midwifery, other) Scotland, Health Board
Number of COVID-19 confirmed deaths registered Scotland, Health Board
Testing – cumulative counts (negative, positive, total) Scotland, Health Board
Testing – daily positive Scotland, Health Board
Testing – cumulative & daily NHS Labs Scotland, Health Board
Testing – cumulative & daily Regional Testing Centres Scotland, Health Board

Further information available on Public Health Scotland data dashboard

Individual level Hospitalisations, testing and other health data – SCOTLAND #

Public Health Scotland (previously ISD) can provide individual level data. These are subject to application and due to strict information governance, need to be accessed via a Safe Haven. Only named people can access the Safe Haven to undertake analysis. The outputs are checked for statistical disclosure control to avoid any identification of individuals. This means we are only likely to produce statistical parameters from the data.

Further information: here and here

Summary of variables requested and possible data products #

Numbers of hospital admissions, times of admission to hospital, testing (multiple tests incl. previous test negative score if available), entry and exit from ICU and time of discharge or death, treatment & medication by week, age group, deprivation quintile, health board.

Demographic data sources #

In general, these data sources can be split into data collected at 2011 Census and therefore available for the whole population of UK at different spatial scales and government surveys which are more up to date but on a sample of the population and therefore fine grained spatial scales are more limited. Population estimates by age, sex and spatial scales are available annually.

Variable Data Source Spatial Scale Social Scale
Population counts NRS – mid-year estimates 2018
ONS – mid-year estimates 2018
5 year age bands, sex, area deprivation
Household Type counts Census - 2011 Output area, Datazone (Scotland)
LSOA, MSOA (England)
5 year age bands, sex, area deprivation

Notes: Most UK surveys will have some detail on households so data products/analysis may be able to produce estimates for different households (e.g. travel diaries using the National Travel Survey)

Other data sources #

Microdata for surveys can be downloaded from the UK Data Archive

Survey/Source Summary of topics Population Coverage
1Census Flow Data Flows of individuals between origins and destinations UK 2011
2011 Census Industry, economic status (social class), household type, ethnicity, age, sex
(possible to add area deprivation)
UK 2011 (possible LSOA/datazone available)
National Travel Survey Travel (mode, purpose, stages of trip, where) by age, sex, household type England 2018 (travelling within GB)
2UK Time Use Survey Data on how people spend their time during the day and over time. Sample of aged 8 years and over in the UK.
Age, sex, household type, economic status, industry sector
UK 2014-15
Scottish Household Survey Age, sex, household type, ethnicity economic status, area deprivation
Travel diaries (purpose, mode)
Scotland 2018 (Heath Board, Local Authority)
OS Mastermap Topography Map data showing landcover types, such as building, gardens, woodland, grassland, and important buildings (schools, hospitals, religious buildings, sports facilities, transit stations) UK wide (Local Authority, Health Board, Data Zone)
School Location Details school names, addresses, pupil rolls, FTE numbers of teachers, urban/rural classification, denomination and proportion of pupils from minority ethnic groups Scotland 2018 (Local Authority, Health Board, Datazone)
Synthetic Population Individual microsimulation base data of 2011 Census. Leeds Uni happy to provide more information and support. England & Wales 2011 (MSOA)
Locations of retail outlets RAMP Urban Analytics created retail locations and movements using geolytix England (MSOA)
Scottish Local Government Spatial Data Range of data that Local Authorities collect (housing land use, planning, environment, school catchment areas) Scotland
Scottish Postcode Density Digital boundary for every live postcode Scotland


1 Can only be accessed by UK academic or government agencies. We are pursuing SCRC Consortium-wide access to this data set.

2 RAMP Urban Analytics have carried out analysis of this data set. We are pursuing access and data sharing.