Assessment of 2021 Censuses in the UK – Preliminary findings

The Census is one of the most important sources of official statistics, informing decisions about almost every aspect of life within the UK. It is of fundamental importance in allocating billions of pounds to local areas by the UK government and devolved administrations, as well as grants to voluntary sector organisations. The Census helps every person in the UK get a better understanding of the places in which they live and work.

The real value of the Censuses will be realised on the release of Census outputs. Census offices will have to deliver high quality data and statistics in a variety of forms to support the wide range of different uses required. It is essential that the data and statistics from the 2021 Censuses produced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the National Records of Scotland (NRS) and the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) are reliable and provide valuable insights, meeting the rigorous standards of trustworthiness, quality and value outlined in the Code of Practice for Statistics.

Our assessment report identifies a range of preliminary findings from the assessment of 2021 Censuses in the UK, which require action on behalf of Census offices to improve compliance with the Code. These findings build on the existing work being undertaken by Census offices and should provide further direction and focus on pre-existing plans for Census as we move toward Census day in 2021 and beyond.

We expect Census offices to act on these findings as part of enhancing the public value, quality and trustworthiness of the data and statistics from 2021 Censuses in the UK. We encourage Census offices to work collaboratively to address the findings. We expect Census offices to report back to us by May 2020, providing an update on progress.

The UK Statistics Authority will decide whether to confirm the National Statistics designation, based on OSR’s advice, prior to publication of Census outputs in 2022; Census offices’ actions to address these findings will help inform that advice.

We have shared this assessment report with relevant UK Parliamentary committees.

 

Related Links:

Letter from Ed Humpherson to NRS, NISRA and ONS (October 2019)

Ed Humpherson to David Marshall (NISRA): Assessment of 2021 Censuses in the UK (September 2020)

Ed Humpherson to Iain Bell: Assessment of 2021 Censuses in the UK – ONS Response to Preliminary Findings (September 2020)

Ed Humpherson to Paul Lowe (NRS): Assessment of 2021 Censuses in the UK (September 2020)

Special Assessment of the 2011 Censuses in the UK: Phase 3 (Office for National Statistics, National Records of Scotland and the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency)

The population census is one of the most important sources of official statistics, informing decisions about almost every aspect of life within the UK and its communities. These include: policy decisions informed for example by understanding the pressures on transport networks and housing stock; guiding support to particular communities by evaluating the extent and nature of disadvantage in the UK, and investment decisions, such as where to place new schools or supermarkets. It is of fundamental importance in allocating billions of pounds to local areas by the UK government and devolved administrations, as well as grants to voluntary sector organisations. And the census helps every person in the UK get a better understanding of the places in which they live and work. This report brings to a close the Assessment of the official statistics from the three censuses conducted in 2011 in England and Wales, in Scotland, and in Northern Ireland.

Population estimates and projections for Scotland

This is one of a series of reports prepared under the provisions of the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 . The Act gives the Statistics Authority power to re-assess whether the Code of Practice for Official Statistics continues to be complied with in relation to official statistics already designated as National Statistics. The report covers the following population estimates and projections (population) statistics produced by the National Records of Scotland (NRS) for Scotland and reported in:

• Mid-year Population Estimates Scotland

• Small Area Population Estimates Scotland (SAPE)

• Population Estimates for Settlements and Localities in Scotland

• Centenarians in Scotland

• Projected Population of Scotland

• Population Projections for Scottish Areas

• Population Projections for Scotland’s Strategic Development Plan Areas and National Parks

This report forms part of a broader assessment of sets of population statistics across the UK that are produced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS); the Welsh Government; NRS and the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA). Assessment reports 309, 310 and 312 examine the population statistics for England, Wales and Northern Ireland respectively.

The previous assessment of these sets of statistics was included in Assessment report 113. They are among the UK’s most prominent National Statistics and are being re-assessed because they are an important input to national and local planning activity and to a large number of economic and social statistics.

This report was prepared by the Authority’s Assessment team, and approved by the Regulation Committee on behalf of the Board of the Statistics Authority, based on the advice of the Director General for Regulation.

Letter to Tim Ellis regarding population estimates and projections

Monitoring Review – Population estimates and projections a comparison across the UK


Letter of Confirmation as National Statistics