• Estimation methods;
  • Geographical harmonization;
  • Population estimates;
  • Small area populations

Summary.  The paper presents a framework for small area population estimation that enables users to select a method that is fit for the purpose. The adjustments to input data that are needed before use are outlined, with emphasis on developing consistent time series of inputs. We show how geographical harmonization of small areas, which is crucial to comparisons over time, can be achieved. For two study regions, the East of England and Yorkshire and the Humber, the differences in output and consequences of adopting different methods are illustrated. The paper concludes with a discussion of how data, on stream since 1998, might be included in future small area estimates.