The report covers the statistics produced by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) about National Insurance Number (NINo) registrations and reported quarterly in National Insurance number allocations to adult overseas nationals (NINo Allocations), and annually in Nationality at point of NINo registration of DWP working age benefit recipients (NINo Benefit Claimants), along with the related commentary that is published in the August publication of NINo Allocations.

NINo Allocations was previously assessed by the Authority as part of Assessment Report 85: Statistics on National Insurance Number Allocations to Adult Overseas Nationals Entering the UK in February 2011 and designation as National Statistics was confirmed in February 2012. NINo Allocations has been re-assessed as part of our ongoing programme of National Statistics re-assessments and following agreement with DWP in summer 2015. NINo Benefit Claimants has also been assessed at the request of DWP, in order for them to gain National Statistics status.

Statistics on National Insurance Number (NINo) registrations are produced to measure the volume of adult non-UK nationals registering for a NINo. However, they are frequently used to understand the level of inward migration to the UK for work purposes, by country of origin or world area, and are commonly used alongside the other migration releases published by Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the Home Office (HO). There is also a wider demand for analyses based on these data as proxy measures of international migration to the UK. As such, they were one of the key statistical sources used in public debate about immigration ahead of the referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union.

The Office for Statistics Regulation has been looking at migration statistics from several angles and taking a more systemic approach, see blog from Ed Humpherson, DG for Regulation.

Related links:

Temporary suspension: letter from Ed Humpherson to John Pullinger

Temporary suspension: letter from Ed Humpherson to Neil McIvor

Decision not to gain National Statistics status: letter from Stephen Balchin to Ed Humpherson

Decision not to gain National Statistics status: response from Ed Humpherson to Stephen Balchin