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Classification of Workplace Zones (COWZ)

The Classification of Workplace Zones (COWZ- UK) is a UK-wide geodemographic classification
of workplaces and the work that is undertaken in them. It was created by a team at the University of Southampton and the Office for National Statistics. This classification allows users to better understand the differing types of employment that characterise business districts and other localities.

This openly available dataset is built using 2011 Census data and identifies similar workplace zone areas according to a variety of employment-related characteristics. Locations are classified as belonging to one of 7 Supergroups and 29 constituent Groups.

The underpinning data are 504 employment and workplace-related Census variables, calculated for the 60,709 Workplace Zones that cover the UK. This page contains a lookup file with COWZ-EW codes, colours and pen portraits (descriptions), guides to the group and supergroup profiles, and the associated dataset and shapefiles used for mapping.

COWZ-EW was an England and Wales only version of COWZ which was produced prior to the Scotland and Northern Ireland data being available. For further information regarding the 2011 COWZ-EW which may include newer additions to the Shapefile and CSV file please visit the project webpage (linked below).

University College London (UCL)
Additional Info: 


Office for National Statistics


ONS, Quality Improvement Fund (QIF)


2011 COWZ-EW Geodata Pack by the University of Southampton; Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v2.0. Contains National Statistics and Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2015.

Release Date
Spatial / Geographical Coverage Location
United Kingdom
Workplace Zone (2011)
Chris Gale
Contact Name
Oliver O'Brien
Contact Email
POLYGON ((-8.9948498999 49.688302644, 2.0867431164 49.688302644, 2.0867431164 61.0684288668, -8.9948498999 61.0684288668, -8.9948498999 49.688302644))
UK Open Government Licence (OGL)

Data Extent


UK Open Government Licence (OGL)