Skip to main content

Proposals for 2001 samples of anonymized records: An assessment of disclosure risk

Buy Article:

$51.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)


In 1991 Marsh and co-workers made the case for a sample of anonymized records (SAR) from the 1991 census of population. The case was accepted by the Office for National Statistics (then the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys) and a request was made by the Economic and Social Research Council to purchase the SARs. Two files were released for Great Britain—a 2% sample of individuals and a 1% sample of households. Subsequently similar samples were released for Northern Ireland. Since their release, the files have been heavily used for research and there has been no known breach of confidentiality. There is a considerable demand for similar files from the 2001 census, with specific requests for a larger sample size and lower population threshold for the individual SAR. This paper reassesses the analysis of Marsh and co-workers of the risk of identification of an individual or household in a sample of microdata from the 1991 census and also uses alternative ways of assessing risks with the 1991 SARs. The results of both the reassessment and the new analyses are reassuring and allow us to take the 1991 SARs as a base-line against which to assess proposals for changes to the size and structure of samples from the 2001 census.

Keywords: Census microdata; Confidentiality; Disclosure control

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: University of Manchester, UK

Publication date: 2001-01-01

  • Access Key
  • Free ContentFree content
  • Partial Free ContentPartial Free content
  • New ContentNew content
  • Open Access ContentOpen access content
  • Partial Open Access ContentPartial Open access content
  • Subscribed ContentSubscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed ContentPartial Subscribed content
  • Free Trial ContentFree trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more