Official statistics are statistics produced by Crown bodies and other organisations listed within an Official Statistics Order, on behalf of the UK government or devolved administrations. They provide a factual basis for assessment and decisions on economic, social and environmental issues at all levels of society.
Accredited official statistics are a sub-set of official statistics that have been independently reviewed by the Office for Statistics Regulation and confirmed as complying with the standards of trustworthiness, quality and value in the Code of Practice for Statistics. Accredited official statistics are called National Statistics in the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007.
Official statistics in development are official statistics that are undergoing a development; they may be new or existing statistics, and will be tested with users, in line with the standards of trustworthiness, quality, and value in the Code of Practice for Statistics. Until September 2023, they were known as ‘experimental statistics’.
Official statistics in development is a temporary label. Even though the statistics are going through development and testing, the producer is confident that they are useful. The producer provides information with the statistics about the nature of the development and any implications for their quality, to guide the appropriate use of the figures.
After the development is complete and following testing with users, the producer will decide if the statistics should continue to be published. Producers can then remove the ‘in development’ label. They should always be clear with users why they are confident that their official statistics are suitable for use.
Our Official Statistics Policy includes information on conditions producers must meet, and information on the format of published statistics.
Our Accredited Official Statistics Policy contains information on how accredited official statistics (called National Statistics in the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007) should be presented. It answers common questions such as on how the accreditation applies to other types of statistical outputs, transferring statistical production from one body to another, and removing or suspending the accreditation.
This page explains what official statistics in development (previously called Experimental Statistics) are, what producers should do to remove the ‘in development’ label, and provides links to regulatory guidance about using the label of official statistics in development.