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Have we learned to count yet? A health services perspective on the 2001 census

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English health services require reliable population denominators to guide equitable sharing of resources. 2001 census counts for England are compared with the corresponding 2000-base projections for 2001, both at the national scale and for individual local authorities and also with corresponding 1996-base projections. Comparison is made with the 2001 census for Northern Ireland. National patterns of variation predominantly may be explained by mis-estimation of international out-migration, but local patterns of variation may be more specifically related to mis-estimation of international in-migration. This suggests two distinct patterns of systematic error in official UK migration statistics between 1991 and 2001.

Keywords: England; census; equity; health; migration; variation

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Regional Public Health Group, Department of Health, Government Office North West, Manchester M1 4BE, Email:

Publication date: 2004-06-01

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