The Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR) is pleased to confirm National Statistics status of the 2021 Census for England and Wales, with the first estimates of the population of England and Wales now live.

There was a very high public response, which reflects enormous effort of everyone that worked to make the Census happen during the global COVID-19 pandemic.  We have noted the innovative approaches the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has taken, remaining committed to high-quality data and statistics throughout operational delivery, processing, and presentation.

Ed Humpherson, Director General for Regulation said:

“The Census statistics underpin vital decisions on the allocation of public services and resources. Through this designation decision, we are recognising ONS’s dedication to meet the needs of users and follow the standards of the Code of Practice for Statistics to ensure everybody counts.”

Sir Ian Diamond, National Statistician said: 

“The Census provides us with a rich and detailed snapshot of the nations’ population and is the most extensive single statistical undertaking for insights that serve the public good, so it’s absolutely critical that we get it right. As such, we have undertaken comprehensive quality assurance processes, validated estimates to check that the results are credible and consistent with other evidence. We have also created strong partnership with local authorities including widening this relationship into data processing for the first time ever”.

Stephanie Howarth, Chief Statistician, Welsh Government said:

“Today’s confirmation of National Statistics status means users can be assured of the trustworthiness, quality and value of data from the Census. The wealth of data that will be available will give us a detailed picture of what life was like in Wales during the global COVID-19 pandemic, to be used going forward to plan and deliver public services. This wouldn’t have been possible without the willingness of the Welsh public to take part in the Census, supported by local government and community organisations across the country.”

Additional Information

To be designated as National Statistics, the OSR must assess and judge that the official statistics comply with the Code of Practice for Statistics. That means the statistics meet the highest standards of trustworthiness, quality and value.

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This is the first of many releases planned for the coming years – more information on ONS release plans can be found here . These census estimates will sit within the broader landscape of population data which will become available over the coming year, including mid-2021 and rebased population estimates, and research outputs from ONS’s administrative data-based population and migration transformation programme – more information can be found here.