How people's movements in Northamptonshire have changed since coronavirus crisis

New figures published by Google show the dramatic change in people's movements in Northamptonshire since the Coronavirus crisis started to bite.

By Reporter
Saturday, 4th April 2020, 7:33 pm
Updated Saturday, 4th April 2020, 7:36 pm
Police patrol Northampton town centre
Police patrol Northampton town centre

The figures are produced based on data tracked by Google from people who have opted-in to location history in their Google account.

Statistics are broken down into six categories which Google says are "useful to social distancing efforts" - retail and recreation; grocery and pharmacy; parks; transit stations (public transport hubs); workplaces; and residential areas.

Google states that the data represents a sample of users because of the privacy issue, and "it may or may not represent the exact behaviour of a wider population".

The research by Google

It uses a baseline figure for the five-week period from Januar 3 to February 6, 2020.

The figures for Northamptonshire, up to March 29, show an 85% drop off in retail and recreation trips, a 42% drop in grocery and pharmacy, a 59% drop in parks, a 71% drop at public transport hubs; a 47% drop at workplaces and a 15% increase in residential areas.

The full report for the whole country is here.

The report states: "What data is included in the calculation depends on user settings, connectivity, and whether it meets our privacy threshold. If the privacy threshold isn’t met (when somewhere isn’t busy enough to ensure anonymity) we don’t show a change for the day.

"We include categories that are useful to social distancing efforts as well as access to essential services.

"We calculate these insights based on data from users who have opted-in to Location History for their Google Account, so the data represents a sample of our users. As with all samples, this may or may not represent the exact behavior of a wider population.

"Google prepared this report to help you and public health officials understand responses to social distancing guidance related to COVID-19.

"This report shouldn’t be used for medical diagnostic, prognostic, or treatment purposes. It also isn’t intended to be used for guidance on personal travel plans.

"Location accuracy and the understanding of categorized places varies from region to region, so we don’t recommend using this data to compare changes between countries, or between regions with different characteristics (e.g. rural versus urban areas)."