Geodemographic segmentation is the classification, for marketing purposes, of areas or neighbourhoods (often at postcode level) according to certain characteristics shared by their populations. In the UK the best known commercially available geodemographic systems are ACORN ('A Classifcation of Residential Neighbourhoods', produced by CACI), CAMEO (produced by Callcredit), and MOSAIC (produced by Experian).
ACORN classifies communities according to 6 categories (Affluent Achievers, Rising Prosperity, Comfortable Communities, Financially Stretched, Urban Adversity, Non-private households), which are further subdivided into 18 groups and 62 types. CAMEO UK uses 10 groups, comprising 68 sub-categories. MOSAIC uses a model consisting of 15 groups and 66 household types.
The databases produced by ACORN, CAMEO and MOSAIC are available only to subscribers, although ACORN do permit registered users to carry out a limited number of free postcode searches for academic purposes. Since the library does not subscribe to these commercial services, students desiring access to detailed geodemographic data may find the following alternative resources helpful.