Children and Young People Statistics in the pandemic

3 August 2021
Last updated:
3 August 2021


As the UK’s independent statistics regulator, we work to ensure that official statistics inform the public about social and economic matters and assist in the development and evaluation of public policy.

This means that we advocate for data that upholds public confidence in government decisions and supports transparency. Now more than ever, the existence of good quality and trustworthy data is vital as statistics continue to play an important and extremely visible role in all our lives.

At the Office for Statistics Regulation, we are conducting a cross cutting review of how well official statistics reflect children and young people. 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.

Using COVID-19 as a case study

As part of our wider review, we have used 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. Given the universal impact of the pandemic, we felt it provided a pertinent opportunity to highlight the importance of considering children and young people’s needs and voice during the design, collection, analysis and dissemination of statistics.

A spread of new outputs have been produced since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, ranging across areas from health to education, lifestyle and wellbeing.

We have looked at a selection of the key published data available on children and young people during the COVID-19 pandemic. This report is not an exhaustive account of all the published, and unpublished, data that has existed to assist in the development and evaluation of public policy during COVID-19. Instead, it looks at a selection of the new statistical outputs through our ‘3Vs’ lenses, in order to explore the representation of children and young people in official statistics during the pandemic. We have also sought to identify any common themes that emerged in terms of gaps or limitations within the data we reviewed.

Back to top
Download PDF version (169.46 KB)