It has been suggested that collective doses should be presented in the form of a 'dose matrix' giving information on the breakdown of collective dose in space and time and by population group. This paper is an initial attempt to provide such a breakdown by geographic region and time, and to give an idea of associated individual doses for routine discharges to atmosphere. This is done through the use of representative per-caput individual doses but these need to be supplemented by information on the individual doses received by the critical group for a full radiological impact assessment. The results show that it is important to distinguish between the different population groups for up to a few hundred years following the discharge. However, beyond this time the main contribution is from global circulation and this distinction is less important. The majority of the collective dose was found to be delivered at low levels of individual doses; the estimated per-caput dose rates were significantly less than 10-5 Sv y-1, a level of dose felt to give rise to a trivial risk to the exposed individual.