OSR, on behalf of the Authority, appreciate ONS’s openness and transparency about the limitations of long-term international migration estimates and the efforts that have been made to improve them. ONS has set out a compelling case for the greater insight provided by drawing on multiple sources of data for long-term international migration estimates, whilst highlighting significant remaining uncertainty, particularly for post-2016 estimates.

Ed Humpherson, Office for Statistics Regulation said: “Following the work undertaken to improve long-term migration estimates we conclude that the Migration Statistics Quarterly Report should no longer be designated National Statistics, and support ONS’s proposal for the next MSQR to be classified as experimental statistics.”

He continued: “It remains critical for decision makers, including politicians, businesses and the public to have robust and reliable migration estimates. I urge ONS and other government departments involved in the population and migration transformation programme to hasten progress and prioritise this development work to improve estimates, whether through data sharing, collaborative research work, or other sharing of expertise and resource.”


Notes to Editors

The Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR) is the regulatory arm of the UK Statistics Authority. We provide independent regulation of all official statistics produced in the UK assessed against the Code of Practice for Statistics.

For more information please contact 020 7592 8659 or 020 3741 1742, by email, or visit the OSR website.


Related Links:

Letter – Ed Humpherson to Iain Bell (August 2019)

Letter – Iain Bell to Ed Humpherson (August 2019)

Statement – Office for National Statistics