Country of Birth

Country of Birth

This activity explores the County of Birth 2011 Census layers in DataNation.

Click through the tabs to view the activity, or click to download the resources as a PDF file.

In this resource, students will investigate the country of birth of residents in Great Britain recorded in the 2011 Census to consider how migration plays a role in population growth across the country.

Poland overtakes India as country of origin, UK migration statistics show

‘Since mid-2000, Scotland’s population has increased mostly due to migration’ infographic from NRS (2017) Scotland’s Population 2016 (pages 6, 23-25)

The Migration Observatory (2018) The Impact of Migration on UK Population Growth

  1. Go to the DataNation homepage:
  2. Enter your school’s username and password and click login.


Exercise 1

In this exercise, you will explore the mapping layers to visually interpret the Census data about country of birth.  Begin by displaying the ‘Country of Birth – UK’ layer.

  1. Click the Society tab in the left-hand panel
  2. Scroll down to find the ‘County of Birth – UK’ layer, click to view the map
  3. The map will update and display the percentage of the population that were born in the UK. Ensure you are zoomed out to view the whole country.
  4. Explore the data by zooming in (double-click the mouse or use the zoom bar on the top right) and panning the map.

Questions, Analysis and Interpretation

  • Viewing GB as a whole, what can you conclude about patterns of people that were born in the UK?


Exercise 2

In this exercise you will explore the raw data behind the maps.

  1. Click on the map to select a single Local Authority.The selected authority will be highlighted with a red outline and the full statistics for the authority will appear on the left-hand panel.

The data on the left-hand panel shows all the related statistics for that area in the Country of Birth dataset.  Click on the different levels of data to view a pie chart of the data.

Questions, Analysis and Interpretation

  • Describe the Country of Birth data for your local authority, after the UK which country were most the population born in?
  • Compare with some other authorities (selecting one at a time) do neighbouring local authorities have similar patterns of country of birth?


  1. Now zoom further into your area of interest, you will see the local authority is broken down into smaller units. Describe the patterns of country of birth across the local authority, how much variation is there?
  2. Click on the smaller areas to view the raw data
  3. Zoom into even greater detail and repeat steps 2 & 3.


Exercise 3

Extend this investigation by visually exploring ‘Country of birth – Europe’ and ‘Country of birth – World’ to identify authorities or cities that display distinctive patterns of migration.  Download the raw data for your area of interest by clicking the Download button at the end of the raw data table.  Open this data in Excel.  Organise and present the data to support your interpretation of the current pattern of country of birth.