MAST contains a special feature for taking any given local authority area and identifying which other areas contain the most socio-demographically similar resident communities. This is extremely useful for evaluating reports based on authority areas, alongside other areas to which they can be considered reasonably comparable.
How to use Similar Authorities
In any saved report which has a filter based on a dimension which uses the Geography hierarchy, the Show Similar Authorities link will appear automatically whenever a single authority area is selected. The link displays a list of the top ten authorities which are most similar to the selected authority area. Clicking on the name of an authority in the list will change the report filter accordingly.
- If the area selected does not correspond to a single local authority, the Show Similar Authorities link will not be displayed. Consequently, the geographical filter used must include only a single element beginning with "C_", "U_" or "L_". This means the feature cannot be applied to government office regions, nor to police force areas or geographical counties unless they coincide precisely with a single council area.
- If more than one Geography dimension is present on the Filter tab, then the first such dimension added will be used.
- Changes to local authority boundaries, such as those caused by Local Government Re-organisation of former two tier county councils, can only be applied in MAST when corresponding STATS19 data is released. For instance, new unitary authorities created in January 2009 were only included in MAST alongside 2009 STATS19 data.
Experian, the creators of Mosaic Public Sector, has calculated the degree of socio-economic similarity of every local authority area in Britain to every other such area, on the basis of proportions of proximate Mosaic Types within the resident populations. This analysis was undertaken specially for MAST Project.
It should be noted that there is no necessary relationship between size or location on one hand, and socio-demographic similarity on the other. Thus, it is entirely possible for an area to have socio-demographic cognates which are much larger or smaller, which exist in different tiers of government and/or are are located in totally different areas of the country.
This diagram gives an illustration of how certain Mosaic Types are considered closer to other types, even if they do not fall within the same Mosaic Group.
Two Tier Counties
MAST is currently unable to show the Most Similar Authorities for two-tier counties. The lookup table below provides the authority names for the top ten most similar authorities for two tier counties.
The table shows that some of the counties have some of their own districts as most similar areas. It means that the relative proportions of the same Mosaic Types within the two populations are arithmetically closer to each other than almost every other population. There are two reasons why it works like this:
- If it didn't, then areas could only be weighted relative to other areas which were at the same level of the geography hierarchy. This would mean that counties could only be similar to other counties or to unitaries, but never to a district; conversely, districts could never be similar to any county, only unitaries or other districts; and unitaries would have different similarity lists depending on whether they were selected at the county level of the hierarchy or the district level.
- The existing approach does provide useful information: for example, East Devon has a mix of communities which are very similar to the overall mix of Devon as a whole (so does Teignbridge), but other districts of Devon are a lot less typical of the country. Exeter City is the least 'Devon-like' area of Devon, as it is 117th most similar to Devon.
|Two Tier County||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||10|
|Buckinghamshire||Wycombe||South Oxfordshire||Tandridge||Surrey||Sevenoaks||Vale of White Horse||East Hampshire||Mid Sussex||Surrey Heath||Guildford|
|Cambridgeshire||Oxfordshire||Hampshire||Maidstone||Colchester||Bedford||Wiltshire||Huntingdonshire||Essex||Bath and North East Somerset||Gloucestershire|
|Cumbria||Allerdale||Carlisle||Bassetlaw||Carmarthenshire||Northumberland||Newark and Sherwood||Boston||Nottinghamshire||Derbyshire||Wrexham|
|Derbyshire||Nottinghamshire||Bassetlaw||Newcastle-under-Lyme||North West Leicestershire||Staffordshire||Amber Valley||High Peak||East Staffordshire||Chesterfield||Wyre Forest|
|Devon||Cornwall||South Lakeland||Denbighshire||North Devon||North Yorkshire||North Dorset||Somerset||West Dorset||Teignbridge||Dorset|
|Dorset||Purbeck||Teignbridge||West Dorset||South Lakeland||East Sussex||Arun||Devon||New Forest||Lewes||East Devon|
|East Sussex||Lewes||Dorset||Arun||Denbighshire||West Sussex||Conwy||Devon||Eastbourne||Teignbridge||Shepway|
|Essex||Maidstone||Kent||Colchester||Hampshire||Cambridgeshire||Chelmsford||Tonbridge and Malling||Braintree||Worcestershire||Bedford|
|Gloucestershire||Worcestershire||Suffolk||Kent||Warwickshire||Wiltshire||Stroud||Stafford||Taunton Deane||South Kesteven||Tewkesbury|
|Hampshire||Test Valley||Tonbridge and Malling||Maidstone||Wiltshire||Cambridgeshire||West Berkshire||Tewkesbury||Essex||Bedford||Oxfordshire|
|Hertfordshire||Dacorum||North Hertfordshire||Three Rivers||Hertsmere||Epping Forest||Reigate and Banstead||Welwyn Hatfield||East Hertfordshire||Oxfordshire||Chelmsford|
|Kent||Gloucestershire||Worcestershire||Warwickshire||The Vale of Glamorgan||Essex||Suffolk||Wiltshire||Colchester||North Somerset||Taunton Deane|
|Leicestershire||Charnwood||Hinckley and Bosworth||Chorley||Rugby||Staffordshire||Warwickshire||East Northamptonshire||Wellingborough||North West Leicestershire||Gedling|
|Lincolnshire||Norfolk||Somerset||West Lindsey||Suffolk||East Riding of Yorkshire||King's Lynn and West Norfolk||South Somerset||Sedgemoor||Breckland||North Yorkshire|
|Norfolk||Lincolnshire||King's Lynn and West Norfolk||Suffolk||Breckland||Somerset||North Yorkshire||South Somerset||West Lindsey||Shropshire||Gloucestershire|
|North Yorkshire||Shropshire||Somerset||Mendip||Suffolk||Devon||Craven||Gloucestershire||Hambleton||Lincolnshire||Ribble Valley|
|Northamptonshire||East Northamptonshire||Warwickshire||Worcestershire||Warrington||Wellingborough||Peterborough||Staffordshire||South Kesteven||Northampton||Charnwood|
|Oxfordshire||Cambridgeshire||Warwick||East Hertfordshire||Hampshire||Bath and North East Somerset||West Berkshire||North Hertfordshire||Maidstone||Aylesbury Vale||Colchester|
|Somerset||South Somerset||Mendip||Suffolk||North Yorkshire||Sedgemoor||Lincolnshire||Shropshire||Taunton Deane||East Riding of Yorkshire||Gloucestershire|
|Staffordshire||Nottinghamshire||Wellingborough||Flintshire||Wyre Forest||Leicestershire||Warwickshire||North West Leicestershire||Swale||North Warwickshire||Hinckley and Bosworth|
|Suffolk||Gloucestershire||Somerset||Lincolnshire||Taunton Deane||South Kesteven||Worcestershire||East Riding of Yorkshire||Mendip||Sedgemoor||North Yorkshire|
|Surrey||Reigate and Banstead||Windsor and Maidenhead||Woking||Guildford||Tandridge||Wycombe||Buckinghamshire||Mid Sussex||Brentwood||Sevenoaks|
|Warwickshire||Worcestershire||Gloucestershire||Kent||The Vale of Glamorgan||Northamptonshire||Staffordshire||Stafford||Lichfield||Charnwood||Leicestershire|
|West Sussex||Kent||Poole||East Sussex||Essex||Hampshire||Notrh Somerset||Harrogate||New Forest||Taunton Deane||Lewes|