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)

The value of crime and justice statistics

Crime and justice is changing and we think it is important that the statistics continue to reflect the real world; undoubtedly there are challenges to doing this. In our review of the Public value of crime and justice statistics in the UK we identified a need for statistics that join-up across the system, yet the separation of government and organisations, particularly in England and Wales, means that this is not always the case. And we think that more work could be done across the UK so that crime statistics achieve similar public value in all administrations.

We have started conversations between producer organisations to explore some of these issues through two roundtable discussions. The first was with producer organisations across the UK and looked at increasing value by sharing information. The second was with producer organisations covering England and Wales and looked at increasing value through sharing and linking data.

Our previous work

In our work on crime and justice statistics we have a strong record of publicly challenging the status quo in crime statistics, in the trust that the public can have in crime statistics and the quality of the underlying data. We broadened our view to consider the value that crime and justice statistics bring to public debate, starting with a crime and justice statistics seminar in London in 2015 to gather expert views on how crime and justice statistics might extend their value.

During 2016 we added to our knowledge through:

  • one-to-one conversations with academics and people who interpret crime and justice statistics for a wider audience
  • a commissioned international review of leading-edge developments in crime and justice statistics
  • mapping the existing landscape of crime and justice statistics across the UK
  • regular contact with producers, following public dialogue and reading academic and methodological papers to keep abreast of topical issues and understand areas of concern

Our view on the Public value of crime and justice statistics was formed out of this ongoing activity.

If you are interested in contributing to our work or would like to receive an alert as more information becomes available, please get in touch.

 

Contact for more information:

Pat MacLeod
pat.macleod@statistics.gov.uk
020 7592 8657

Statistics on Northern Ireland Tourism

This report is prepared under the provisions of the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 . The Act allows an appropriate authority to request an assessment of official statistics against the Code of Practice for Official Statistics in order for them to gain National Statistics status. This report is in response to such a request.

The Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) present statistics on Northern Ireland tourism across a number of published reports and through access to data.

Tourism in Northern Ireland (NI) is a growth industry which the devolved government sees as important for the local economy. The development of a new tourism strategy, currently ongoing, recognises this and it is clearly important that this is supported by good data on the nature of the industry and how it evolves over time.

NI tourism statistics provide a range of measures of the tourism industry in NI including volume of overnight trips and associated expenditure and visits to visitor attractions. These statistics provide users with information to support planning, marketing and target monitoring related to tourism, at a national and local level. Policy officials within the Department for the Economy (DfE) used these statistics as a means of monitoring progress towards Northern Ireland’s Programme for Government (PfG) targets 2011 to 2015 related to tourism. These targets aimed to increase visitor numbers to 4.4 million and tourist revenue to £800 million by 2015. Tourism Development Officers within local government districts use the statistics to track changes over time and compare visitor numbers across districts.


Related links:

Confirmation of National Statistics

Letter from Ed Humpherson to Siobhan Carey regarding Statistics on Northern Ireland Tourism

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 Northern Ireland (Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency)

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 Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) for Northern Ireland and reported in:

• Population and Migration Estimates Northern Ireland

• Estimates of the Population Aged 85 and Over, Northern Ireland

• Northern Ireland Population Projections

• Population Projections for Areas Within Northern Ireland

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; National Records of Scotland (NRS) and NISRA. Assessment reports 309, 310 and 311 examine the population statistics for England, Wales and Scotland respectively.

The previous assessment of these sets of statistics was included in Assessment report 124 . 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 Norman Caven regarding population estimates and projections

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


Letter of Confirmation as National Statistics