commute-flow : about

Commute-flow is a brand new geodemographic classification of commuting flows for England and Wales based on origin-destination data from the 2011 Census that has been used to analyse the spatial dynamics of commuting.

This toolkit presents data outputs in order to help policy makers use the data to support transport investment decisions and understand patterns of commuting. There is lots of untapped potential for this data to be used to evaluate transport policy and investment decisions so resources are more effectively and efficiently targeted to places of need.

This toolkit includes a series of new classifications of commuting flows from the 2011 Census. The toolkit allows you to explore levels of commuting and compare the level of connectivity of each neighbourhood to major employment centres. The underlying rationale for the research is that the toolkit will help deliver efficiencies in public and private sector investment.

Full explanations of this new geodemographic classification can be found in the classification section. If you want to find out more about the underpinning research and read further details about how we developed the classification, this can be found in the research section.

Source data

The source data for commute-flow is available in a number of formats as downloadable GIS files.

  • ArcGIS map package [32mbs].

To unpack a map package, drag the .mpk file into ArcMap or right-click the .mpk file and click Unpack. Alternatively, you can use the Extract Package tool and specify an output folder.

  • Zipped QGIS map files [56mbs].

QGIS is free open source GIS software availbale for all platforms.

  • Zipped Excel csv file of the source flow data [24mbs].

  • There is also a ReadMe file containing meta-data.

Source code

The source code for the commute-flow toolkit is available on GitHub


The typology is derived from 2011 UK Census data. We are making the typology available under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

© SPA-lab, Manchester Urban Institute, University of Manchester

Contains National Statistics data © Crown copyright and database right 2012.

Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2012.