RR1130 - The National Population Database: overview and developments

The National Population Database, NPD, was first developed for HSE in 2004 for use in assessing potential risks to the public from major hazard installations such as chemical plant and pipelines carrying hazardous substances. The NPD is composed of geographically referenced information on the current population of Great Britain with broad coverage of population types at national level and with a high level of spatial resolution including building locations. The NPD groups the population of Great Britain under five main themes: Residential, Sensitive, Transport, Workplaces and Leisure. Within each of these five themes, population datasets are further grouped and structured in layers of spatial data. The original development of the NPD is described in HSE Research Reports RR297 (2004) and RR678 (2008).

This report gives: an overview of the current NPD; guidelines on using the NPD; and technical developments since 2008, including new population data layers and metrics, and the adoption of improved capabilities for automatic matching of datasets.

Since the NPD was first developed for HSE, it has been used by other Government Departments and regulators. The report includes two case studies on use within: surface water flood impact modelling; and defining off-site emergency planning areas around nuclear installations.

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Updated 2021-04-16