Article by Richard Catlin - 28th April 2014

What Does Your Postcode Say About You

The British postcode has just celebrated its 40th birthday and to mark the occasion, Royal Mail has commissioned a special report highlighting just a few of the diverse differences that can be measured from one to the next.

Norwich, perhaps best known for mustard and Alan Partridge, was the first British city to implement the use of postcodes back in 1974, an achievement that is to be marked with a special plaque. Today, there are 1.8 million postcodes in the UK and are used for much more than just ensuring that post is delivered in a speedy and efficient manner.

The Royal Mail Postcode Address File (PAF) is a key part of day-to-day business for thousands of companies across the country and is also used as the basis for demographic classifications.

These classifications are used for many different things, such as life expectancy calculations, determining what sort of junk mail you get and where supermarkets are located.

The Royal Mail study marking the occasion picks out a few highlights, including:

  • Somewhat surprisingly, the 5 ‘healthiest’ postcode sectors in England are in London – SW1X, EC2V, W8, SW7 and EC1A.
  • Aldeburgh in Suffolk has the highest average age in the UK.
  • Postcodes in Canterbury are somewhat lacking in virility, with the lowest birth rate in England.
  • Northumberland and Cumbria have the lowest crime rates in the UK.

They may not be the most exciting things, but you would be amazed at just how important postcodes have become.

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