Uk Geodemographic Classifications Review

22nd April 2015

Which one should you use?

Geodemographic Segmentation —— Definition

Geodemographic segmentation refers to a range of methods used for classifying and characterizing neighbourhoods or localities based on the principal that residents living near each other are likely to have similar demographic, socio-economic and lifestyle characteristics. It is used for a wide range of purposes including direct marketing, retail location, service area analysis, housing market analysis, and public service targeting.”

Definition Source:

Encyclopedia of GIS, Shekhar Shashi, Xiong Hui, Springer US, 8 2008-01-01, A Troy, Austin, P 347-355

There are number of commercial and open source Geodemographic classifications. We DO NOT endorse any of them and this article is a simple summary of the available Geodemographic classifications in the UK. If you would like to talk to us about geodemographics, or other market discriminators or any other data please feel free to email at [email protected].


Creating a Geodemographic Classification

  1. Use clustering method to assess number of potential clusters Geodemographic classification should have.
  2. Decide on the geographical area you are going to use in clustering
  3. Decide on the set of key variables for the geographical areas you are planning to cluster
  4. Prepare data for clustering (transformations, standardisation, checking for outliers)
  5. Decide on the number of clusters
  6. Calculate and compare characteristics of the clusters, write pen-portraits for each cluster and assign names to each cluster.


Evaluating Geodemographic Classifications

All geodemographic classifications are based on the number of subjective decisions related to its creation (selection of variables or number of clusters). It is difficult to find an objective method of assessing how good one Geodemographic classification is compared to another. Ideally we would like to have a sample of each classification in order to assess which one will best serve user’s objectives.


Output Area Classification (ONS) 2011

Free geo-demographic classification from ONS.

  • Data source: Census 2011
  • Created by: ONS and UCL
  • Year of release: 2014
  • Coverage: UK
  • Type: Three-tiered hierarchical geodemographic classification at Census 2011 Output Area Level
  • Structure:   8 Supergroups,   26 Groups   and  76 Subgroups.


Groups(26) SuperGroups(8)
1a-Farming Communities

1b-Rural Tenants

1c-Ageing Rural Dwellers

2a-Students Around campus

2b-Inner-City Students

2c-Comfortable Cosmopolitans

2d-Aspiring and Affluent

3a-Ethnic Family Life

3b-Endeavouring Ethnic Mix

3c-Ethnic Dynamics

3d-Aspirational Techies

4a-Rented Family Living

4b-Challenged Asian Terraces

4c-Asian Traits

5a-Urban Professionals and Families

5b-Ageing Urban Living

6a-Suburban Achievers

6b-Semi-Detached Suburbia

7a-Challenged Diversity

7b-Constrained Flat Dwellers

7c-White Communities

7d-Ageing City Dwellers

8a-Industrious Communities

8b-Challenged Terraced Workers

8c-Hard-Pressed Ageing Workers

8d-Migration and Churn

1-Rural Residents


3-Ethnicity Central

4-Multicultural Metropolitans



7- Constrained City dwellers

8-Hard-Pressed Living



Commercial Geodemographic classification from CACI.

  • Data source: Census 2011, Open data, commercially sourced data, Proprietary data
  • Created by: CACI
  • Year of release: 2013
  • Coverage: UK
  • Type: Three-tiered Geodemographic classification at unit postcode level
  • Structure:   6 categories,   18 groups and 62 types


Categories (1-6) /   Groups (A – R)

1-Affluent Achievers

A-Lavish Lifestyles

B-Executive Wealth

C-Mature Money

2-Rising Prosperity

D-City Sophisticates

E-Career Climbers

3-Comfortable Communities

F-Countryside Communities

G-Successful Suburb

H-Steady Neighbourhoods

I-Comfortable Seniors

J-Starting Out

4-Financilaly Stretched

K-Student Life

L-Modest Means

M-Striving Families

N-Poorer Pensioners

5-Urban Adversity

O-Young Hardship

P-Struggling Estates

Q-Difficult Circumstances

6-Not Private Households

R-Not Private Households



Commercial Geodemographic classification from Experian.

  • Data source: Census 2011, Open data, commercially sourced data, Proprietary data
  • Created by: Experian
  • Year of release: 2013
  • Coverage: UK
  • Type: Two-tiered Geodemographic classification at unit postcode level
  • Structure: 15 groups and 66 Types


Groups (15)

A-City Prosperity

B-Prestige Positions

C-Country Living

D-Rural reality

E-Senior Security

F-Suburban Stability

G-Domestic Success

H-Aspiring Homemakers

I-Family Basics

J-Transient Renters

K-Municipal Challenge

L-Vintage Value

M-Modest Tradition

N-Urban Cohesion

O-Rental Hubs



Commercial Geodemographic classification from Acxiom.

  • Data source: Census 2011, Open data, commercially sourced data, Proprietary data
  • Created by: Acxiom
  • Year of release: 2014
  • Coverage: UK
  • Type: One tier Geodemographic classification at unit postcode level.
  • Structure:   55 clusters


Lifestage Affluence Digital Age ranking & Cluster Code
Y = Young Adults L = Low 1 = Always on 1 = Youngest (18-30)
F = Families with Children M = Medium 2 = Fully Connected 2
X = Empty nesters H = high 3 = Browser Open
R = Retirees 4 = Emerging Users 26
5 = Seldom Online
55 = Oldest (55+)



Example:               Cluster description

YL101 Born digital Young adults 18-30 Low £15K-£35K Always On
FH223 Smart Money Families with children 40-55 High £35-£75K FullyConnected
RM550 Active Grandparents Retirees 60+ Medium £5-£25K SeldomOnline




Commercial Geodemographic classification from Callcredit.

  • Data source: Census 2011, Open data, commercially sourced data, Proprietary data
  • Created by: Callcredit
  • Year of release: 2013
  • Type: Two-tiered Geodemographic classification
  • Coverage: UK
  • Structure:   10 groups and 68 categories


CAMEO UK Groups (1-10)

1-Business Elite

2-Prosperous Professionals

3-Flourishing Society

4-Content Communities

5-White Collar Neighbourhoods

6-Enterprising Mainstream

7-Paying the Mortgage

8-Cash Conscious Communities

9-On A Budget

10-Family Value


 P2-People and Places

Commercial Geodemographic classification from Beacon Dodsworth.

  • Data source: Census 2001 and Lifestyle data
  • Created by: Beacon Dodsworth
  • Year of release: N/A
  • Coverage: UK
  • Type: Two-tiered Geodemographic classification
  • Structure:   13 Trees and 40 Branches


Trees ( A- M)

A-Mature Oaks

B-Country Orchards

C-Blossoming Families

D-Rooted Households

E-Qualified Metropolitans

F-Senior Neighbourhoods

G-Suburban stability

H-New Starters

I-Multicultural Centres

J-Urban Producers

K-Weathered Communities

L-Disadvantaged Households

M-Urban Challenge