Electoral Rolls UK Electoral Rolls on CDROM Pluses As near a comprehensive coverage as you will get, listing 42 million names Ability to easily extract the number of occurrences of a surname Occurrences could be manually mapped using an Atlas of Postcodes Minuses Up to 15% of the possible electorate may not be registered (young people  and ethnic minority  groups are particularly under-represented) Extremely expensive to purchase (something like £3,000 as at 2001) Only lists those in the population aged 17 and over Although the disk is expensive to purchase, there is a fee-based extraction service available from People Finders UK. The Ward is a unit common both to electoral and contemporary Census geography. To learn how the modern census is administered, and to see a list of all hierarchical divisions – county, district, ward, enumeration district – visit the Census Dissemination Unit UK parliamentary elections – numbers registered to vote 2001 44,403,238 1997 43,846,152 1992 43,275,316 Changes to the register tend to affect between 0.1% and 0.5% of electorate in any given month. Note 1: “Only 85% of those who said they did not vote in the 2001 general election were actually registered to do so and 29% of young people aged 18-24 and 19% of minority ethnic groups indicated in a sample survey that the reason for not voting was that they were not registered.” Source: The Electoral Registration Process: Report and Recommendations, The Electoral Commission 2003 Note 2: “Looking at ethnic minority communities, 27% of black non-voters and 15% of Asian non-voters reported that they were not registered, although these figures were drawn from a small base-size.” Source: Election 2001: the official results, Politico’s 2001 UK-INFO Disk Pluses Cheap and cheerful Combines both telephone numbers and the Electoral Register May be useful just for a casual search alone On-line version available Minuses Has been heavily criticised since its data is “of variable vintage” and for the number of missing entries It has been estimated that at least 50% of its entries are inaccurate in some way (although the later versions are on first reports much improved in its accuracy) Up to now, the UK-Info disk could not be recommended for surname distribution analysis, where accuracy in the totality of numbers is so important. The latest disk seems at first to have a much better coverage as a percentage of the population. This is due however to the many duplications in entries caused by Postcode changes. Ensuring that the source is one of ‘clean data’ is vital in our study.