NEWS4 September 2013

ONS sets autumn date for census consultation

Government UK

UK — The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has proposed two different approaches to measuring the population of the country following its review of the UK Census.

Following its Beyond 2011 review, the ONS has proposed that either the ten-year census be moved online or that the government re-use ‘administrative data’ already held – combined with a rolling annual survey.

In a statement, the ONS said: “The consultation will ask users to think about how they use population statistics, and the benefits they bring, so that they can properly consider the advantages and disadvantages of the two options.”

The department said that although an online census would produce a wealth of small area data and detailed cross-tabulations “it would only be every ten years”.

Furthermore, while an administrative data solution would deliver statistics much more frequently and be more responsive to changing user needs, it “would not provide the level of detail currently provided by the census”.

The consultation will be launched on the ONS website in the autumn.