Systemic Review Outline: Children and Young People Statistics

Children and young people make up over a fifth of the population of the UK [1]

As the Office for Statistics Regulation we want to be able to state publicly whether the statistics system is sufficiently alive to issues for children and young people across all topic areas and to encourage improvement where needed.

As part of this review we will:

  • build a picture of what statistics exist relating to children and young people’s lives in the UK
  • gather views about whether the statistics that are currently available answer the key questions, what gaps exist and possible reasons for these
  • identify the actions that will have an impact in improving the system’s ability to answer the key questions about children and young people’s lives

Through this review we want to encourage those producing statistics to consider the need for statistics on children and young people during design, collection, analysis and dissemination of data.


We have identified three ‘key’ lenses to focus on in this area:

Visibility concerns whether children and young people are included in data collections / analyses relevant to them to enable informed decision making. It also covers transparency of decisions on including – or not – children in surveys/ datasets.

Vulnerability concerns the availability of statistics for the most vulnerable children and young people. Do data sources allow separate analysis of their experiences? What can be done to provide better information /overcome barriers?

Voice concerns whether children and young people or adult policy makers dictate the topics on which we have data about children. And whether the system supports children to have a voice by making relevant statistics accessible to them?


How we will do it

Stage 1: system mapping
We will build-up a picture of Children and Young People statistics in the UK to help inform our understanding of what statistics exist.  We plan to commence this work during 2020.

Stage 2: stakeholder engagement
Building on stage 1, we will consult with a range of statistics producers and users who have an interest in Children and Young People statistics.  We will gather views about whether the statistics that are currently available answer the key questions and what gaps exist. We will also want to find out about emerging areas for which evidence might be needed in future and how well the systems in place can respond to such demands. If you want to speak to us about this work, please get in touch with the regulation team.

Stage 3: collate findings and explore options for improvements
We will review the evidence gathered and present it to key stakeholders. For areas where we feel improvements are needed, we will work collectively with relevant parties to identify solutions.

Stage 4: follow up review
More detail regarding timings will become available as we progress through this project.


[1] Population aged 18 and under from the 2017 mid year population estimates