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.


Our work to date has identified three key lenses (‘3Vs’) which can support statistics producers to better meet user needs:

Visibility – Whether children and young people are included in data collections and analyses relevant to them to enable informed decision making.

Vulnerability – Whether the experiences of children and young people who are vulnerable to poorer outcomes are collected and analysed separately.

Voice – Whether statistics reflect the views of children and young people and can be used by them.

As part of our wider review, we have published a report on Children and Young People statistics in the pandemic using the COVID-19 pandemic as a case study to explore how our ‘3Vs’ approach can assist in understanding the extent to which the statistics system has been alert to the unique circumstances of young people during the pandemic.

We are continuing to work with users and producers of official statistics to further develop our ‘3 Vs’ lenses. In particular, we are refining our expectations around statistics on children and young people and exploring the levers and barriers to driving improvements in official statistics to meet the needs of users.

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