Assessment of Admin Based Population Estimates for England and Wales – Office for National Statistics

Why are population statistics important?  

Measuring the population accurately is an essential part of understanding different aspects of our lives and our communities. Population estimates are used for making important government policy decisions at a national level, but also at more detailed regional and local levels. For example, local authority decisions about the provision of many public services, including, housing, transport, healthcare and schools.  


ONS has traditionally produced its population estimates using information from a survey it carries out every 10 years – the Census. 

To improve statistics on population to reflect changes in society and technology and better meet user needs, ONS has developed Admin Based Population Estimates (ABPE) for England and Wales using the Dynamic Population Model.  

Our review

We are currently assessing ONS’s Admin Based Population Estimates (ABPE) in England and Wales . Our review will consider whether the statistics meet the professional standards set out in the statutory Code of Practice for Official Statistics. We will conduct the assessment in phases. 

The first phase of our assessment aims to provide reassurance to users on the new approach and therefore will focus on three broad areas: 

  1. The suitability and quality assurance of the data and methods used in the Dynamic Population Model to produce population estimates in England and Wales.  
  2. The extent to which ONS is benchmarking the state of readiness of population estimates to replace the cohort component method previously used.
  3. An initial investigation into user understanding of, and confidence in, the proposed new method, and ONS communications on this.  

How you can help? 

We would be interested in hearing users’ views on the areas outlined above, as capturing the views of users forms an important part of our judgment about the statistics, including how they could be improved. If you would like to speak to us as part of this assessment, please contact our regulators for this domain – Catherine, Vicky, Gillian, Claire, Emma and Ben. You can contact them via for more information or any queries. 

We look forward to your input by the 22 March 2024.