Address Dataset Logo Mark

Guide to Address Data UK address data 101

Welcome to our guide to UK address data supplied by Allies. The following information provides everything you need to know about our UK address data - from our official data sources to useful details about each field. Let's get started...

Allies Computing Address Data - Buy address lists and location data for the UK and Republic of Ireland

Our address data files

We provide address data files in CSV format which is well supported by a wide range of tools, databases and programming languages.

A typical address data file contains millions of rows and is several gigabytes in size; a UK address data file has around 30 million rows and is 4 GB in size.

Since address data files tend to be very large, we recommend you import the address data into a database and then process it further from there, as per your requirements.

If you wish to view the data before that, you can use a text editor with large file support like EmEditor. Note, we don't recommend using Microsoft Excel as it can struggle to open large files.

Get A Free Quote
Address files available as a CSV file illustration
UK address data sources illustration

UK address data sources

Allies address data for the UK provides you with easy access to these datasets:

Royal Mail

PAF - Royal Mail's definitive UK address database. Updated daily, PAF is the most accurate and up-to-date record of every postal address in the UK.

Multiple Residence - The Multiple Residence database from Royal Mail identifies individual dwellings within multiple occupancy buildings that share a front door.

Not Yet Built - The Not Yet Built database from Royal Mail contains the addresses of 500,000 properties that are planned or under construction.

Alias - Alias data is used with the Postcode Address File (PAF) to help identify properties that have additional address characteristics.

British Forces Post Office - British Forces Post Office (BFPO) postcodes are used to ensure the accurate routing of commercial and personal mail to British Forces personnel serving overseas.

Office for National Statistics

ONS Postcode Directory - The Office for National Statistics (ONS) assigns geographies to postcodes using the ONS Postcode Directory (ONSPD).

Get A Free Quote

UK address data levels

We provide different levels of address data and, if required, can include geographical data with all of them.

Premise

Our premise address data contains full addresses (also known as delivery points). For example:

AddressField
Allies Computing LtdOrganisationName
Manor Farm BarnsBuildingName
Fox RoadMainStreet
Framingham PigotDependentLocality
NORWICHPostTown
NR14 7PZPostcode

Our UK address data includes Royal Mail PAF and Multiple Residence data, and can be supplied in one of two ways:

One record per delivery point
  • Our most popular format where your address data file contains one address per line
One record per postcode record
  • An alternative format where your address data file contains one postcode record per line
  • Each postcode record can contain up to 100 addresses
  • One postcode record is supplied for each combination of street(s) and user category
  • Where provided, premise information for each address within the postcode record is encoded within the fields for DepartmentName, OrganisationName, SubBuildingName, BuildingName, BuildingNumber, DeliveryPointSuffix, UniqueDeliveryPointReferenceNumber, with semi-colons separating the values. For example: ";;Flat 1" for SubBuildingName would mean the first two delivery points at that postcode have no sub-building names, and the third has a sub-building name of "Flat 1"

Street

Our street address data includes Royal Mail Part PAF and provides the street, locality, town, county and postcode. For example:

StreetField
Fox RoadMainStreet
Framingham PigotDependentLocality
NORWICHPostTown
NR14 7PZPostcode

Locality

Our locality address data provides fields for locality, town, county and postcode. For example:

LocalityField
Framingham PigotDependentLocality
NORWICHPostTown
NR14 7PZPostcode

Geographic

Geographic data (or geo data for short) can be included with any of the three levels of address data above. For each postcode (except non-geographical postcodes like GIR 0AA or XM4 5HQ), the following geo data is available:

  • Grid references for Ordnance Survey 1m units
  • Latitude and Longitude for OSGB36 and ETRS89 latitude and longitude, derived from 1m grid references
  • European / National / Local government codes and names
  • NHS administrative codes and names
  • 2001 and 2011 census codes
Get A Free Quote
UK address data sources illustration

UK address data fields

Premise fields

Data level
✔ = Standard ♦ = Optional
Field name
Alternative field name
DescriptionPremiseStreetLocalityGeoMax length
OrganisationName
ORC
Organisation Name
The name of the organsation.
60
DepartmentName
ORD
Department Name
The department within the organisation.
60
POBoxNumber
POB
PO Box Number
The PO Box number (optionally with a "PO Box" prefix or other custom text). Not always a number, can be an alphanumberic value (e.g. PO Box LB6).
6/13
SubBuildingName
SBN
Sub Building Name
The sub-building name (e.g. Flat 1 or Unit A).
30
BuildingName
BNA
Building Name
The name of the building (e.g. Rose Cottage, Bush Tower).
50
BuildingNumber
NUM
Building Number
The building number (e.g. 6, 4A, 22-24). If the tidy premise option has been selected, then this field will be blank, and the building number (if any) will be prefixed to the first populated field for DependentStreet, MainStreet, DoubleDependentLocality or DependentLocality.
12
DeliveryPointSuffix
DPX
Delivery Point Suffix
A 2-character code (one numeric and one alphabetic) plus 1 check digit calculated from the postcode and the actual Delivery Point Suffix (e.g. 3AB). It enables each delivery point to be uniquely identified within a postcode.
3
UniqueDeliveryPointReferenceNumber
URN
Unique Delivery Point Reference Number (UDPRN)
A unique reference to this delivery point which will not change even if the postcode or other PAF elements change.
8
DataOrigin
DTO
Data Origin
The origin of the data with values of P for PAF and M for Multiple Residence.
1
UniqueMultipleResidenceReferenceNumber
UMR
Unique Multiple Residence Reference Number (UMRRN)
A unique reference equivalent to the UDPRN in PAF. By default, this value is output in the UniqueDeliveryPointReferenceNumber field.
8
MultipleOccupancyCount
MOC
Multiple Occupancy Count
A count of the number of multiple occupancy addresses for the delivery point (max 9999). This value is supplied by Royal Mail. This is the same for every Multiple Residence record for a given owning PAF delivery point, and will be present on the owning PAF delivery point record as well.
4
MultipleResidenceRecordCount
MRC
Multiple Residence Record Count
The actual count of Multiple Residence records following the PAF delivery point record (max 9999). This value is computed from the actual data. It may be less than MultipleOccupancyCount if Royal Mail do not have all details of the Multiple Residence addresses, and may even be zero. Usually however it will be the same as MultipleOccupancyCount. As with MultipleOccupancyCount, MultipleResidenceRecordCount is the same for every Multiple Residence record and the owning delivery point.
4

Street fields

Data level
✔ = Standard ♦ = Optional
Field name
Alternative field name
DescriptionPremiseStreetLocalityGeoMax length
DependentStreet
DST
Dependent Street
The dependent street or thoroughfare.
80
MainStreet
STM
Main Street
The main or only street.
80
DoubleDependentLocality
DDL
Double Dependent Locality
A business park, industrial estate or hamlet which is smaller than a dependent locality, sometimes included in an address.
35
DependentLocality
DLO
Dependent Locality
A small town or village name sometimes included in an address when the address is outside the boundary of the post town that serves it.
35
PostTown
PTN
Post Town30
Postcode
PCD
Postcode
E.g. NR14 7PZ
8
PostcodeArea
PAR
Postcode Area
E.g. NR
2
PostcodeDistrict
PDI, PSD
Postcode District
E.g. NR14
4
PostcodeSector
PSI
Postcode Sector
E.g. NR 14 7
6
PostcodeGroup
PGR
Postcode Group
E.g. NR14 7P
7
CurrentCounty
CCN
Current County
Maintained by Allies and always populated. The county has not been a required postal addressing element for some time by Royal Mail, and the county fields still found in PAF (AdministrativeCounty, PostalCounty, TraditionalCounty) are not always populated or up to date, however some users still require a county for their own purposes. The mapping of postcodes to CurrentCounty is generated by Allies using a variety of geographic information sources including the latest map set and the new unitary authorities. CurrentCounty represents the administrative district under which a given postcode falls. See also ElectoralCountyName.
30
AdministrativeCounty
CTA
Administrative County
Top tier local government. Note that the AdministrativeCounty is only relevant in areas which still have three tiers of local government (i.e. county council, local authority, ward). Since the early 2000s local government has been moving to unitary authorities where there is no county council. Not always populated, use ElectoralCountyName in preference.
30
PostalCounty
CTP
Former Postal County
Formerly maintained by Royal Mail as part of the mail sorting process. Prior to introduction of postcodes this was an important part of the delivery process. No longer needed for addresses and not maintained since 1996. Does not necessarily correspond to a resident's own concept of their county. Not always populated.
30
TraditionalCounty
CTT
Traditional County
Reflects the counties from 1888 until 1974. This is often what residents still perceive as their correct county, but it bears no direct relevance to the current local administrative arrangements. Not always populated.
30
UserCategory
CAT
User category
R=Residential, N=Non-residential, L=Large. Residential covers non-business premises. Non-residential covers small to medium businesses. Large user is for large businesses and PO Boxes (which can also be rented by individuals). Large users each have their own postcode.
1
Sortcode
SCD
Sortcode
For Royal Mail Mailsort.
5
DeliveryPointCount
NDP, DPS
Delivery Point Count
Number of delivery points in this postcode record, not the entire postcode (there can be 1 or more records for each postcode). Max value is 100. Where postcode records have been aggregated so that there is one data record per PAF postcode, DeliveryPointCount will be the total delivery point count for the postcode.
3
CountryCode
CTRY
Country Code9
CountryName
LNN
Country Name30

Geographic fields

Data level
✔ = Standard ♦ = Optional
Field name
Alternative field name
DescriptionPremiseStreetLocalityGeoMax length
Geographic: Mapping and navigational fields
GridEast1metre
GME
Grid Easting
Grid easting in metres (1m units)
E.g. 626980
6
GridNorth1metre
GMN
Grid Nothing
Grid northing in metres (1m units)
E.g. 0303951
7
LatitudeOSGB36
LTO
OSGB36 Latitude
E.g. 52.5855368359
15
LongitudeOSGB36
LGO
OSGB36 Longitude
E.g. 1.3510181044
15
LatitudeETRS89
LTE
ETRS89 Latitude
E.g. 52.5859714116
15
LongitudeETRS89
LGE
ETRS89 Longitude
E.g. 1.3492192897
15
Geographic: European / National / Local government fields
EuropeanElectoralRegionCode
EER
European Electoral Region Code
E.g. E15000006
9
EuropeanElectoralRegionName
EERName
European Electoral Region Name
E.g. Eastern
40
ParliamentaryConstituencyCode
PCON
Westminster Parliamentary Constituency Code
E.g. E14000941
9
ParliamentaryConstituencyName
PCONName
Westminster Parliamentary Constituency Name
E.g. South Norfolk
50
ElectoralCountyCode
OSCTY
Electoral County Code
E.g. E10000020
9
ElectoralCountyName
OSCTYName
Electoral County Name
E.g. Norfolk
30
LocalAuthorityCode
OSLAUA
Local or Unitary Authority Code
E.g. E07000149
9
LocalAuthorityName
WNA, OSLAUAName
Local or Unitary Authority Name
E.g. South Norfolk
60
ElectoralWardCode
OSWARD
Electoral Ward Code
E.g. E05005903
9
ElectoralWardName
WNW, OSWARDName
Electoral Ward Name
E.g. Poringland with the Framinghams
40
ParishCode
PARISH
Parish Code9
Geographic: Health administration fields
CommissioningRegionCode_NHSNHS Commissioning Region Code
3-character NHS code:
  • NHS Commissioning Region - England
E.g. Y55
3
CommissioningRegionCode_GSS
CR_GSS
CommissioningRegionCode_GSS
9-character GSS code:
  • NHS Commissioning Region - England
E.g. E40000002
9
CommissioningRegionName
NNR, CRName
Commissioning Region Name
  • NHS Commissioning Region - England
E.g. Midlands and East of England
30
AreaTeamCode_NHS
NHS
NHS Area Team Code
3-character NHS code:
  • NHS Area Team (AT) - England
  • Health Board (HB) - Scotland
  • Health Authority (HA) - Channel Islands and Isle of Man
  • Health & Social Care Board (HSCB) - Northern Ireland
E.g. Q56
3
AreaTeamCode_GSS
AT
GSS Area Team Code
9-character GSS code:
  • NHS Area Team (AT) - England
  • Health Board (HB) - Scotland
  • Health Authority (HA) - Channel Islands and Isle of Man
  • Health & Social Care Board (HSCB) - Northern Ireland
E.g. E39000013
9
AreaTeamName
NNH, ATName
Area Team Name
  • NHS Area Team (AT) - England
  • Health Board (HB) - Scotland
  • Health Authority (HA) - Channel Islands and Isle of Man
  • Health & Social Care Board (HSCB) - Northern Ireland
E.g. East Anglia
40
ClinicalCommissioningGroupCode_NHS
PCG
NHS Clinical Commissioning Group Code
3-character NHS code:
  • NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) - England
  • Local Health Board (LHB) - Wales
  • Community Health Partnership (CHP) - Scotland
  • Local Commissioning Group (LCG) - Northern Ireland
  • Primary Healthcare Directorate (PHD) - Isle of Man
E.g. 06Y
3
ClinicalCommissioningGroupCode_GSS
CCG
GSS Clinical Commissioning Group Code
9-character GSS code:
  • NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) - England
  • Local Health Board (LHB) - Wales
  • Community Health Partnership (CHP) - Scotland
  • Local Commissioning Group (LCG) - Northern Ireland
  • Primary Healthcare Directorate (PHD) - Isle of Man
E.g. E38000159
9
ClinicalCommissioningGroupName
PNP, CCGName
Clinical Commissioning Group Name
  • NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) - England
  • Local Health Board (LHB) - Wales
  • Community Health Partnership (CHP) - Scotland
  • Local Commissioning Group (LCG) - Northern Ireland
  • Primary Healthcare Directorate (PHD) Isle of Man Name
E.g. NHS South Norfolk
40
Geographic: 2001 Census fields
CensusOutputArea_2001
OA01
2001 Census Output Area9
CensusOutputAreaClassification_2001
OAC01
2001 Census Output Area classification9
CensusLowerLayerSuperOutputArea_2001
LSOA01
2001 Census Lower Layer Super Output Area9
CensusMiddleLayerSuperOutputArea_2001
MSOA01
2001 Census Middle Layer Super Output Area9
CensusUrbanRuralIndicator_2001
UR01IND
2001 Census Urban/Rural Indicator1
CensusAreaStatisticsWardCode
CASWARD
2001 Census Area Statistics (CAS) Ward6
Geographic: 2011 Census fields
CensusOutputArea_2011
OA11
2011 Census Output Area9
CensusOutputAreaClassification_2011
OAC11
2011 Census Output Area classification9
CensusLowerLayerSuperOutputArea_2011
LSOA11
2011 Census Lower Layer Super Output Area9
CensusMiddleLayerSuperOutputArea_2011
MSOA11
2011 Census Middle Layer Super Output Area9
CensusRuralUrbanIndicator_2011
RU11IND
2011 Census Rural/Urban Indicator1
CensusWorkplaceZone_2011
WZ11
2011 Census Workplace Zone9
BuiltUpArea
BUA11
2011 Census Built Up Area9
BuiltUpAreaSubdivision
BUASD11
2011 Census Built Up Area Sub-Division9
Geographic: Other fields
StatisticalWardCode_2005
STATSWARD
2005 Statistical Ward6
PostcodeDateOfIntroduction
DOINTR
Date of Introduction of Postcode6
PostcodeDateOfTermination
DOTERM
Date of Termination of Postcode6
NationalParkCode
PARK
National Park Code9
NationalParkName
PARKName
National Park Name60
UserTypeUser Category
S=Small, L=Large.
1
GridPositionalQualityIndicator
OSGRIDIND
Grid Reference Positional Quality Indicator1
RegionCode
GOR
Region Code
Formerly government office region code.
9
RegionName
GORName
Region Name
Formerly government office region name.
40
StandardStatisticalRegionCode
STREG
Standard Statistical Region Code1
StandardStatisticalRegionName
STREGName
Standard Statistical Region Name40
TravelToWorkAreaCode
TTWA
Travel to Work Area Code9
NUTSCode
NUTS
Nomenclature of Units for Territorial Statistics (NUTS) Code9
Get A Free Quote

Additional geographic information

Mapping and navigational fields

Grid references

Our grid references locate the centroid of a postcode in units of 1m.

Grid references are included for the most of the UK, with the exception of postcodes that belong to PO Boxes.

The Channel Islands (postcode areas JE and GY) and the Isle of Man (postcode area IM) are available as an option, these having been calculated by Allies at postcode district level on the same basis as the UK mainland grid. Note that northings for the Channel Islands are negative numbers.

The Northern Ireland (postcode area BT) grid does not have the same origin as the one used for the rest of the United Kingdom. An approximate conversion of Northern Ireland grid references to the same origin as the rest of the UK is obtained by adding 13000 to the northing and subtracting 17000 from the easting of the NI references. This should not be regarded as an exact conversion.

The UK grid runs out in the far north of Scotland, where a letter is used for the first digit of the grid northing in order to retain a 6 character reference. However, for ease of use we supply a 7 digit numeric grid reference which can be used directly with other UK grid references.

OSGB36 coordinates

Our OSGB36 coordinates are expressed in degrees for the 1m grid reference for a postcode; 15 digits: sign, 3 digits, decimal point, 10 decimal places.

These latitude & longitude values are given on the Airey 1830 ellipsoid and reference the OSGB36 datum. The values correspond to those on current OS Maps for Great Britain. Northern Ireland values are computed using the Irish Transverse Mercator projection.

Longitude east of Greenwich is a positive decimal value. Longitude west of Greenwich is a negative decimal value.

ETRS89 coordinates

Our ETRS89 coordinates are expressed in degrees for the 1m grid reference for a postcode; 15 digits: sign, 3 digits, decimal point, 10 decimal places.

These latitude and longitude values are given on the WGS84 ellipsoid and reference the ETRS89 datum. The values correspond to those used in global positioning systems in Great Britain and Europe. Note that many online map providers such as Google Maps use GPS maps and hence the ETRS89 latitude and longitude coordinates should be used with these providers.

Longitude east of Greenwich is a positive decimal value. Longitude west of Greenwich is a negative decimal value.

Get A Free Quote
UK address data sources illustration

Local government fields

Units of local government administration differ between countries in the UK. For the purposes of naming fields we use the name of the English unit but the following notes also indicate the equivalent units within other countries.

From January 2011 ONS introduced a new 9-character coding structure for most current statistical geographies in the UK, but excluding Northern Ireland.

The previous ward code was presented as a single value, although it was made up of three components:

  • County (if any)
  • Authority
  • Ward

The new codes are provided separately for each component and are structured as follows:

The first character is a letter representing the country:

  • E = England
  • W = Wales
  • S = Scotland
  • L = Channel Islands
  • M = Isle of Man

The next two characters are a 2-digit entity code:

  • 10 = County
  • 09 = London borough
  • 08 = Metropolitan district
  • 07 = Local authority (non-metropolitan district)
  • 05 = Electoral Ward

Abolished or not applicable records will have the Instance (last six digits of the code) set to 999999.

The final six characters are a 6-digit instance code. This number is simply an identifier which is unique within the country and entity. It has no structural meaning so there is no relationship between two adjacent numbers.

illustration of person at a desk looking at local government fields
Local authority or unitary authority code

For a given postcode, this code identifies the:

  • Local authority district (LAD)
  • Unitary authority (UA)
  • Metropolitan district (MD)
  • London borough (LB)
  • Council area (C) - Scotland
  • District council area (DCA) - Northern Ireland

These codes are now in the 9-character format, except for Northern Ireland where they remain 6 characters in length. Local authority codes in the 9-character format have the entity codes:

  • 09 = London borough
  • 08 = Metropolitan district (England)
  • 07 = Local authority (England)
  • 06 = Unitary Authority (England and Wales)
  • 12 = Council area (Scotland)
Get A Free Quote
Electoral ward code

This code identifies the electoral ward for the postcode.

These codes are now in the 9-character format, except for Northern Ireland where they remain 6 characters in length. Ward codes in the 9-char format have the entity code 05.

The codes for Northern Ireland have not changed: the ward code has an embedded blank. The county part is always 95, the 26 local authorities have the letters A-Z plus one space and the ward is two digits.

illustration representing local unitary authority
Local government examples
Electoral countyLocal or unitary authorityWardOld code
Local authorityE10000020 (Norfolk)E07000149 (South Norfolk)E05005924 (Mulbarton)33UHJW
Unitary authorityE99999999E06000057 (Northumberland)E05009101 (Bellingham)EMQG
Metropolitan districtE99999999E08000003 (Manchester)E05000697 (City Centre)BNGX
London boroughE99999999E09000023 (Lewisham)E05000442 (Downham)AZGJ
Northern Ireland95 (Northern Ireland)95A (Derry)12 (Victoria)95A 12
ScotlandS99999999S12000028 (South Ayrshire)S13002786 (Girvan and South Carrick)REMH
WalesW99999999W06000002 (Gwynedd)W05000100 (Porthmadog-Tremadog)NCSP

Health administration

Units of health administration differ between countries in the UK. For the purposes of naming data fields we use the name of the English unit but the following notes also indicate the equivalent units within other countries within the UK.

From January 2011, ONS introduced a new 9-character coding structure for most current statistical geographies in the UK, including health, but excluding Northern Ireland.

The pre-existing 3-character coding system continues to be used within the NHS, hence we provide either or both sets of codes within our address data. There is no stated internal structure to the 3-character code but in fact all English health authorities start with the letter Q and Welsh ones with W. Scottish health boards start with S and Northern Irish with Z.

Furthermore, in April 2013 the administration of the NHS in England was changed, and the previous:

  • Pan strategic health authority
  • Strategic health authority
  • Primary care trust

were replaced by:

  • Commissioning region
  • Area team
  • Clinical commissioning group
Commissioning region

The commissioning region is the region responsible for the associated area teams and clinical commissioning groups for postcodes in England. Pseudo codes are included for Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Channel Islands and Isle of Man. Note, these entities seem to be known by different labels, such as regional teams or commissioning boards, even within the NHS.

Two codes and a name are available:

  • Commissioning RegionCode_NHS - a 3-character code used by the NHS for the entity
  • Commissioning RegionCode_GSS - a 9-character GSS code for the entity
  • Commissioning RegionName - the name of the entity
illustration representing NHS health authority
Area team

For a given postcode, this code identifies the:

  • Area team (AT) - England
  • Health board (HB) - Scotland
  • Health authority (HA) - Channel Islands and Isle of Man
  • Health & Social Care board (HSCB) - Northern Ireland

Two codes and a name are available:

  • AreaTeamCode_NHS - a 3-character code used by the NHS for the entity
  • AreaTeamCode_GSS- a 9-character GSS code for the entity
  • AreaTeamName - the name of the entity

There is no stated internal structure to the 3-character code but in fact all English health authorities start with the letter Q and Welsh ones with W. Scottish health boards start with S and Northern Irish with Z.

illustration representing NHS area team codes
Clinical Commissioning Group

For a given postcode, this code identifies:

  • Clinical commissioning group (CCG) - England
  • Local health board (LHB) - Wales
  • Community health partnership (CHP) - Scotland
  • Local commissioning group (LCG) - Northern Ireland
  • Primary healthcare directorate (PHD) - Isle of Man

Two codes and a name are available:

  • ClinicalCommissioningGroupCode_NHS - 3-character code used by the NHS for the entity
  • ClinicalCommissioningGroupCode_GSS - 9-character GSS code for the entity
  • ClinicalCommissioningGroupName - the name of the entity

Note that as from 31 March 2015, CHPs in Scotland were abolished; however they remain as frozen data; that is, holes may appear in the data in future.

illustration showing CCG codes

Get a no-obligation quote

What our customers say

Netdespatch - A customer who uses Postcoder

"Allies help us maintain a level of service that is always there for our 120,000 business customers."

Victorian Plumbing - A customer who uses Postcoder

"A stress-free journey for our customers when ordering products online"

U Switch - A customer who uses Postcoder
Sky - A customer who uses Postcoder
Prezzybox - A customer who uses Postcoder

"2x faster checkout times - Postcoder has literally transformed our checkout."

KFC - A customer who uses Postcoder
Latest news,
press releases & announcements
Our email newsletter goes out once a month. We will only use your details to send you links to products and articles we think might interest you.
Live Start Loading NowChatting Offline