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HEFCE closed at the end of March 2018. The information on this website is historical and is no longer maintained.

Many of HEFCE's functions will be continued by the Office for Students, the new regulator of higher education in England, and Research England, the new council within UK Research and Innovation.

The HEFCE domain - - will continue to function until September 2018. At this point we will close the site entirely and all its information will only be available from the National Web Archive.


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POLAR4 data

This page contains all the available resources for our third update to the classification of small areas across the UK, known as ‘POLAR4’.

Please note: The postcodes that were unclassified under POLAR3 have also had POLAR4 quintiles removed. We will shortly be analysing these postcodes in order to re-instate those that are safe for measurement.

POLAR4 classification files

The files contain header records describing the specification of the data they contain. The Middle Layer Super Output Areas (MSOA) data is presented in comma-separated variable (CSV) format. The POLAR4 postcode look-up file is also in CSV format but is zipped due to its large original size (approx. 31,000 KB).

(Note for those running Windows-based operating systems: the postcode to POLAR4 classification file will not open fully in Microsoft Excel. Either a specialist database or statistical software package is required [such as Microsoft Access, SPSS, SAS, S-plus, R]. Alternatively the file will open fully in Microsoft Wordpad.)

POLAR4 classification of Middle Layer Super Output Areas

Download the POLAR data by msoa as CSV (314 KB)

Look-up between unit postcode and the POLAR4 classification of Middle Layer Super Output Areas*

Download the POLAR4 postcode look-up as zip (3,935 KB)

*Based on the ONS National Statistics Postcode Directory (NSPD) May 2016 (file updated 16 November 2017)



Page last updated 16 November 2017

See also