Administrative Data | Agricultural Research Collection – England and Wales

The AD|ARC (Administrative Data | Agricultural Research Collection) datasets link information on farming activities with de-identified data about the people in farm households.  The datasets also include three control groups of non-farming individuals living in similarly rural areas. Research using the data will enable better understanding of the demographic, health, education and economic characteristics of households associated with different types and sizes of farm business. This will provide new insights for decision makers to improve agricultural and rural policies and enhance the wellbeing of farmers and their households. 

The data linkage is the result of a collaboration between government and academic organisations across the UK, including the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, the Northern Ireland Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, Scottish Government, Welsh Government and Public Health Wales. While data currently available only covers England and Wales, data for Scotland is coming on stream in 2024 and Northern Ireland will follow. Methods for cross-UK federated analysis are in development. 

Component datasets and linkage

AD|ARC links de-identified electronic records that are already collected by departments across the governments of the UK. The datasets included in AD|ARC are: 2010 EU Farm Structure Surveys (England and Wales), 2010 Rural Payments subsidy data (England and Wales), 2011 Census of Population (England and Wales), 2010-2020 Inter-Departmental Business Register (currently England only; Wales to follow). Additional de-identified health and education datasets held by the various UK government administrations will be linked in future where available. The availability of additional linked education and health datasets will vary by nation.

Timeframe 2010 - 2020 (varies by dataset)
Update Frequency Currently static
Population Individuals living in farming households in England and Wales claiming SPS 2010 subsidy payments; control groups of non-farming individuals living in similarly rural areas.
Coverage England and Wales. The AD|ARC dataset for Scotland is coming on stream in 2024 and Northern Ireland will follow.
Size Approx. 170,000 individuals resident in approx. 60,000 farms claiming subsidies in England. Approx. 50,000 individuals resident in approx. 18,000 farming households claiming subsidies in Wales.
Administrative Data | Agricultural Research Collection – England and Wales


Examples of research questions

Examples of research questions the data could be used to address: 

  • What are the characteristics of farming households that receive farm subsidies? 
  • Is there a correlation between farm and household characteristics, and engagement with agri-environment management schemes? 
  • How important is farm income as a share of total household income? Does this vary depending on different farm business, household socio-economic, and spatial attributes? 
  • What effect does being part of a farm household have on health and wellbeing outcomes, and does this vary by farm characteristics? 

The above list is illustrative only and intended to demonstrate the research potential of the dataset. For AD|ARC’s research priorities, please see the areas of research interest and the ADR UK Research Fellowships funding opportunity

Core documentation

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User guide

The user guides for AD|ARC datasets are available on the project website.

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Data dictionary

The data dictionaries for AD|ARC datasets are available on the project website

Other supporting resources



2011 Census information 

Census statistics help paint a picture of the nation and how we live. Find out more about the 2011 Census on the ONS website


Inter-Departmental Business Register 

The Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR) is a comprehensive list of UK businesses used by government for statistical purposes. 

EU Farm Structure Survey information 

This survey obtains reliable data, at regular intervals, on the structure of agricultural holdings in the EU. 

Rural Payments subsidy data 

Find out more about the Rural Payments subsidy data for England and Wales. Please note that Rural Payments are a devolved issue so what is collected and by whom varies across the UK. 

AD|ARC website 

The project website including publications, documentation and news.  

Accessing the data

Access the AD|ARC England dataset via the ONS Secure Research Service. Access the AD|ARC Wales Dataset via the SAIL Databank. Researchers who are fully accredited under the Digital Economy Act (2017) can apply for access.  

More information on how to access the AD|ARC dataset will be available soon. Please contact with any questions.  

ADR UK Research Fellowships

ADR UK is funding policy-relevant research using ADR England flagship datasets. Research Fellows will address priority research questions, generate insights and demonstrate the value of ADR England data. These datasets are held securely in the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Secure Research Service or other trusted research environments. 

Learn more