Migration and population statistics newsletter - winter 2021

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Migration and population statistics newsletter

17 December 2021

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Welcome to the winter 2021 edition of the migration and population statistics newsletter.

In this edition you will find news on recent and upcoming releases and events, together with updates on the work we have been doing in the last quarter.

Look out for the next edition in the spring.

Subscribe to the ONS migration and population statistics mailing list.

Population and migration statistics transformation - update 

Would you like to know more about how we are improving population and migration statistics for the future? On Friday 26 November we released a series of research papers detailing our progress. These included an overview of research findings, migration statistical designs, England and Wales administrative data estimates 2016-2020, and administrative data across students / the student population.

These publications help towards meeting our commitments shared in the Future plans for research on population estimates and projections published in July 2021. This summarises our planned activities following the recommendations in the Office for Statistics Regulation review of population estimates and projections. We aim to provide a full update about our progress on these activities in early 2022.

Census 2021 outputs update 

The Census 2021 collection operation was a fantastic success with more than 97% of households in England and Wales completing their questionnaire. Ed Dunn, Deputy Director at the ONS and Head of Census Data Transformation Division, explains in his latest National Statistical blog what is happening now and when results will be available.

We would also like to thank everyone who consulted with us earlier this summer on our proposals for the design of Census 2021 outputs and analysis for England and Wales. We have published part one of our response to the consultation feedback on the Census 2021 outputs consultation website. It focuses on the first phase of the Census 2021 outputs release schedule and includes, for example, our response to feedback received on classifications such as age, country of birth and marital status. We will publish part two of our response, focused on the later phases of the release schedule, in early 2022, ahead of Census 2021 first results in late spring 2022.

If you have any questions about the consultation or Census 2021 outputs, please contact: census.ouputs@ons.gov.uk

To receive the latest news on Census 2021 outputs, register for free email newsletters by subscribing to ‘2021 Census outputs‘ updates on GovDelivery.

2020-based interim national population projections - new release date

Publication of 2020-based interim national population projections has been delayed until 12 January 2022. Delaying this release will allow sufficient time to use the latest and best available death occurrences data, which maximises the quality and relevance of the projections throughout the subsequent projections period.

We have engaged with key stakeholders to understand their timescales for planned onward uses of these statistics and are aiming to minimise adverse impacts from the delay.

Upcoming life tables and families publications 

Past and projected period and cohort life tables, 2020-based, UK: 1981 to 2070 is planned to be published on in January 2022, concurrently with the interim 2020-based national population projections. This publication includes life expectancy (eₓ), probability of dying (qₓ) and numbers surviving (lₓ) from the period and cohort life tables, past and projected, for the UK and constituent countries.

Childbearing for women born in different years, England and Wales: 2020 is provisionally scheduled for publication in January 2022. This release includes the changing composition of families over time, comparing the fertility of women of the same age and the number of children they have had.

Families and households in the UK: 2021 is provisionally scheduled for publication on 9 March 2022. This release includes trends in living arrangements including families (with and without dependent children), people living alone and people in shared accommodation, broken down by size and type of household. This release will also include revised estimates for 2020 as a result of reweighting of the LFS.

We plan to shorten some bulletins to headline only releases. We would welcome user feedback on this change following publication, to be sent to pop.info@ons.gov.uk

Travel and tourism consultation open until 21 December 2021

On Tuesday 5 October the Office for National Statistics opened a public consultation to gather views from stakeholders on a proposed change in producing travel and tourism statistics.

Over the past few months, the travel and tourism review team have been researching possible ways in which the statistics could be transformed for the future. After thorough exploration, a proposed future approach has been developed which focusses on the statistics being collected using a hybrid method which maximises the use of alternative data sources in combination with surveys. 

The consultation is due to close on Tuesday 21 December 2021.

Centre for Longitudinal Study Information & User Support (CeLSIUS) - podcasts 

Our academic partners from the Centre for Longitudinal Study Information & User Support (CeLSIUS), based at University College London (UCL), have released a series of podcasts looking at the ONS Longitudinal Study (LS) and the important research that it has enabled. Recent episodes include:

  • an interview with Rich Pereira, Deputy Director for Ageing & Demography, highlighting the wealth of data available from the LS as it approached its 50th birthday; and
  • National Statistician Sir Ian Diamond in conversation with Professor Amanda Sacker from UCL, discussing her research looking at outcomes in later life for people who spent time in care as children.

The podcasts can be accessed here: https://linking-our-lives.libsyn.com/

Recent Releases

This section lists all migration and population statistics publications released in the last quarter.

Variant population projections and household projections  

The article ‘Variant national population projections for the UK and subnational population projections and household projections for England: user guide’ published on 4 November provides guidance to users of projections wishing to understand and use variant projections in policy and planning. The user guide covers the national population projections, subnational population projections and the household projections focusing on: 

  • what variants are, including their purpose, the range of variants available and how they are used in policy and planning  
  • case study examples of where national population projections variant projections are used to inform national-level planning  
  • three local area case study examples of variant subnational and household projections in use for assessing future housing needs 

We always welcome feedback on the range of variant projections for population and household projections including your future requirements, particularly when we begin to integrate Census 2021 data into our projections. Please let us know your thoughts by emailing pop.info@ons.gov.uk 

Read the article

Population estimates by marital status and living arrangements

On 16 December, we published 'Population estimates by marital status and living arrangements, England and Wales: 2020'.  This release includes annual estimates of population by legal marital status and cohabitation status by age and sex for England and Wales.

Read the bulletin

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Providing faster and better estimates of the population

The pandemic has highlighted the need for more frequent data about our population to understand the biggest challenges facing society. The ONS has been making great strides bringing together new sources of information to build the richest picture possible.

At the end of November we released a series of publications (listed below) starting with a blog by Pete Benton in which he highlighted the improvements we have made, the limitations in the estimates, and our ambitions to refine the work in 2022.

Read the blog

Timely statistics:

Population of the UK by country of birth and nationality: year ending June 2021

Long-term international migration, provisional: year ending December 2020 

Experimental migration data: No evidence of UK exodus

Visa journeys and student outcomes 


Admin-based population and migration estimates, a research update 

International migration statistical design 

Developing admin-based population estimates, England and Wales: 2016 to 2020

Understanding students across administrative data in England and Wales

How we are improving migration and population statistics

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Upcoming releases

The ONS release calendar provides details of confirmed and provisional dates for upcoming releases. You can also find links to releases already published.

See the ONS release calendar

January 2022 

  • 12 January - 2020-based interim national population projections 
  • Past and projected period and cohort life tables, 2020-based, UK: 1981 to 2070 (provisional)
  • Childbearing for women born in different years, England and Wales: 2020 (provisional) 

February 2022 

  • Overview of the UK population (provisional)

March 2022

  • 9 March - Families and Households in the UK: 2021 

March to April 2022 

  • Electoral statistics, UK: 2021 (provisional)
  • Long-term international migration, provisional: years ending March and June 2021

Coming soon - Census 2021 outputs

  • Find out more here

Please be advised that publication schedules could be affected by ONS's ongoing response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Rich Pereira

Rich Pereira is the head of the Centre for Ageing and Demography. You can follow Rich on Twitter for the latest in population statistics news @RichPereira_ONS.

Jay Lindop

Jay Lindop is the head of the Centre for International Migration. You can follow Jay on Twitter for the latest in migration statistics news @JayLindop_ONS.

New ONS branding

As part of the new ONS identity, the Centre for International Migration and the Centre for Ageing and Demography now has their very own customised branding! In case you notice this on emails or in meeting presentations, etc please see images below:

MSD brand image

This is the branding image for the Centre for International Migration

PSD brand image

This is the branding image for the Centre for Ageing and Demography.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

ONS has been working to ensure that the UK has the vital information needed to respond to the impact of this pandemic on our economy and society. Take a look at the coronavirus (COVID-19) landing page on our website where you can find all the latest ONS data and analysis. 

Take a look at the latest data and analysis

ONS Twitter accounts

  • @ONS is the place to find out about statistics
  • @ONSfocus is the official platform for news and discussion about what's happening at ONS. It is designed for everyone with an interest in the numbers that matter most and how they are produced.

ONS Centres

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) Centres focus on areas of significant policy interest to produce new analysis and insights which are often cross-cutting and in partnership with other government departments, academics and external bodies. The centres undertake a wide range of work to fill crucial evidence gaps by utilising new sources of data; adopting the latest tools and approaches; and, work in collaboration with others.

Centre for Ageing and Demography - providing statistics and analysis on the UK's changing population

Centre for International Migration - understanding migration's significance in our population and economy

Read about the ONS Centres

Devolved countries

The devolved countries for the UK are Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. For statistics relating to those individual countries, please see the links below:

Useful links

As well as the ONS website, you may also find the websites below useful:

Contact us

Should you have any questions about the content of this newsletter, please email us at pop.info@ons.gov.uk, or call us on +44 (0)1329 444661.