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Similar authorities

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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.

Calculation Technique

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.

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