The Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR) today published a review ofmigration statistics produced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). This is our first report reviewing ONS’s transformation of migration statistics in the context of the Code of Practice for Statistics.

International migration statistics (referred to as ‘migration statistics’) are vital in aiding our understanding of society. They are a key component of population statistics as well as being a key area of public and policy interest. However, it is also extremely challenging to measure migration accurately.

ONS has been embarking on an ambitious programme to transform how it measures international migration. We carried out this review due to the importance of these statistics and the ambitious transformation programme underway.

We found that ONS has been credible and robust in its development of the methods and data sources underpinning its transformation of migration estimates, and has engaged well with experts on these developments. 

The report sets out recommendations for how ONS can build on this good work, with two main themes emerging: 

  • improve and broaden its user engagement; and 
  • ensure clear and coherent communication of its migration plans in the context of the population and labour market transformation.

Ed Humpherson, Director General for Regulation, has today written to Sir Ian Diamond, National Statistician, setting out the findings in this report. We will continue to work with ONS, and other statistics producers, to ensure that migration statistics serve the public good.