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TNS launches new algorithm to get to the heart of small area classification

Issued by: TNS South Africa | 19 Jun 2014 12:26
With its long history of urbanisation measure development, TNS South Africa has devised an algorithm in order to create an objective system of classifying small areas or suburbs and villages into metropolitan, small urban and rural components. The result, called the Census Rural-Urban Measure (CRUM), was published in the public domain and released at the 2014 SAMRA conference on 13 June as a service to the industry.
TNS identified the need for such a system when the 2011 Census data became available at a Small Area and Sub-Place level. TNS's Neil Higgs explains, "The further classification of suburbs into metropolitan, small urban and rural components, as CRUM allows, enables lower costs, more efficient trip planning and better sample design when implementing any national survey." It is also a useful tool for marketers in that urbanisation is largely a function of infrastructure and the provision of services and facilities, so such knowledge is critical as it is one of the fundamental factors driving how people live and make decisions in the context of their living situations.

TNS will use the CRUM algorithm, which provides an objective system of classifying areas into the three types, internally to design and execute better samples. However, it will also be made available to the industry to help marketers and advertisers understand geographical areas as well as the living conditions of the people to whom they direct brands. This also means that it can be used as a measure of service delivery by policy-makers as well.

Higgs ends, "With CRUM's threefold advantage of improving sampling systems, measuring service delivery and helping marketers to better understand how people actually live, it is set to become a particularly useful tool for researchers and marketers alike."

For further information on CRUM, please contact TNS South Africa:

Heidi Swanepoel on or 011 778 7500
Judy Cronjé on or 012 657 9500
Neil Higgs on or 011 778 7500

About TNS

TNS advises clients on specific growth strategies around new market entry, innovation, brand switching and stakeholder management, based on long-established expertise and market-leading solutions. With a presence in over 80 countries, TNS has more conversations with the world's consumers than anyone else and understands individual human behaviours and attitudes across every cultural, economic and political region of the world.

TNS is part of Kantar, one of the world's largest insight, information and consultancy groups.

Please visit for more information.

About Kantar

Kantar is the data investment management division of WPP and one of the world's largest insight, information and consultancy groups. By connecting the diverse talents of its 13 specialist companies, the group aims to become the pre-eminent provider of compelling and inspirational insights for the global business community. Its 28,500 employees work across 100 countries and across the whole spectrum of research and consultancy disciplines, enabling the group to offer clients business insights at every point of the consumer cycle. The group's services are employed by over half of the Fortune Top 500 companies.

For further information, please visit us at

TNS South Africa's press office

TNS South Africa
TNS is a global network with offices in over 80 countries. We are a leading custom research company in Africa Mediterranean and Middle East (AMME) with a proven, widespread network capable of delivering research into almost every country in the region.
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