Dear Maya

ONS research into 2021 England and Wales Census data on Gender Identity

Thank you for your letter regarding the research on the quality of gender identity data collected in the 2021 England and Wales Census published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and for setting out your views of this research.

As you know, the Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR) is carrying out a review of these statistics and we published an interim report in October 2023. Our interim report makes clear that we plan to review and engage with users on ONS’s research before publishing a final report. We will consider the points set out in your letter and look forward to engaging with you to inform our final report.

You asked whether ONS’s research was seen or agreed by OSR before it was published. It would not be appropriate for OSR to agree or approve research carried out by statistics producers, particularly research which forms part of a live review. ONS did share a late version of the summary report with us, and we responded by confirming our expectations that ONS should reach a clear view of the performance of the Census question. However, we did not approve or sign-off the final version of the ONS report in any way. Our forthcoming report will address to what extent we consider the published research meets our expectations in line with the Code of Practice for Statistics.

More information about our work in this space can be found on our website.

Yours sincerely

Ed Humpherson
Director General for Regulation