Today, the Office for Statistics Regulation has published phase 2 assessment reports for the 2021 Census in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
These reports draw on our previous preliminary findings from the first phase of the assessment and reflect our judgements based on evidence from Office for National Statistics and the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency teams and our consideration of users’ views.
OSR recognises that ONS and NISRA have achieved a great deal through their planning, development and operational delivery of the 2021 Censuses. It was a significant achievement to run live Census collections during the COVID-19 pandemic. ONS and NISRA achieved high levels of occupied household response rates across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The reports also set requirements for ONS and NISRA as they finalise their Census outputs, in particular on the relevance of Census estimates in the context of the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, and on the quality of the key Census estimates.
Ed Humpherson, DG Regulation said in recognising and reflecting on all the hard work on Census:
“Census is such a vitally important source of data and statistics. During this stage between collection and outputs, ONS and NISRA are undertaking to process and assure the quality of Census data. To date, communications are strongest where they have been transparent with users on plans for considerations in early stages of developments. One of our key concerns from the assessment however has been the lack of widely available information on the impact of COVID-19, Brexit, and differing timings of Census collections on Census data.”