Census 2021 outputs update

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Census 2021

Census 2021 outputs update

25 November 2021

Gaining National Statistics accreditation for Census 2021 outputs 

The census is one of the most important sources of data and statistics that can help answer some of the most pressing questions facing society today.   

To ensure Census 2021 statistics are reliable and provide valuable insights, the Census 2021 operation is assessed against the standards of trustworthiness, quality and value as outlined in the Code of Practice for Statistics 

The Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR) is responsible for carrying out this phased assessment and determining if Census 2021 outputs will obtain the necessary accreditation to be classed as National Statistics.   

The OSR has now published its assessment of Census 2021 highlighting the successful collection operation and what still needs to be done for the results to gain National Statistics accreditation.  

As with previous OSR assessments, we, the Office for National Statistics (ONS), are now in the process of reviewing OSR’s findings. We will respond with the detailed actions we are taking to address OSR’s findings, before the release of Census 2021 first results in late spring 2022. 

You can find details of previous OSR assessments and our responses on the National Statistics accreditation page of the ONS website. 

UK census data  

We are responsible for conducting the Census 2021 for England and Wales. We are also responsible for publishing UK census outputs, from the census data collected by National Records Scotland (NRS) for Scotland and by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) for Northern Ireland. 

ONS and NISRA held censuses in March 2021. NRS will hold a census in March 2022.   

We have recently updated our UK census data web page to address what these different reference periods mean for the comparability and publication of UK census data. 

The updated web page details how the three census offices are working together to harmonise census outputs as much as possible. We have also provided information on our future plans for research on population estimates and projections. We aim to provide confirmation of our plans regarding UK mid-year population estimates for 2021 in December 2021. 

Contact us

If you have any questions about Census 2021 outputs, please contact: census.output@ons.gov.uk