Geodemographic segmentation

Page updated: 16/06/2023


A segmentation divides people into groups which are similar on chosen characteristics (such as demographics, needs, priorities, or common interests). It produces a set of groups where people in the same group are more similar to each other, but the groups are different. A geodemographic segmentaiton is calculated for where people live (based on theprinciple 'birds of a feather flock together'), so helps us understand the different types of communities in Bolton and how they are similar and different. We use it to tailor services and approaches so they are suitable for and appealing to the people who need or want them.


Acorn groups poeple based on their likely needs, behaviours and opinions relating to a wide range of topics - those who are more similar are grouped together. Here are some snippets comparing the top level, Acorn Category.

  1. Affluent Achievers (17% of the Bolton population, 23% of the UK population) are among the most affluent in the country and include many ‘baby boomers’. People in this category are very well educated. They are healthy, wealthy and confident consumers.
  2. Rising Prosperity (3% of the Bolton population, 9% of the UK population) are well educated, younger professionals moving up the career ladder. Most live in modern or converted flats that they either rent or own.
  3. Comfortable Communities (21% of the Bolton population, 27% of the UK population) includes people who own their home, younger couples, families and older people. They have average incomes and tend to work in professional, clerical and skilled roles.
  4. Financially Stretched (30% of the Bolton population, 23% of the UK population) includes a mix of traditional areas of Britain. They live in lower value homes they own or social housing. Many people in this category are just getting by with modest lifestyles.
  5. Urban Adversity (28% of the Bolton population, 16% of the UK population) are the people who are finding life the hardest and experiencing the most difficult social and financial conditions. There are many single pensioners, lone parents, separated and divorced people and may experience higher levels of health problems in some areas.


Find out more about Acorn at

Other segmentations

Other segmentations are available. The ONS made a free one, based on 2011 census data, which is included on the Bolton postcode lookup file in the Geographies - Neighbourhoods section of this website.