Research update: admin-based population estimates

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Admin-based population estimates for local authorities England and Wales: 2011 to 2022

28 February 2023

Today we have published our latest admin-based population estimates (ABPEs) and an update to our research into the dynamic population model (DPM). The aim of the DPM is to estimate the population, including how it changes, in a timely way. This will enable us to better respond to user needs. We have produced ABPEs for mid-year 2011 to 2022 for all 331 local authorities in England and Wales. ABPEs for June 2022 showed a 0.8% increase on the June 2021 estimates, and we have been able to produce these estimates four months earlier than we would by using the current mid-year estimates (MYE) process. 

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This work follows on from our previous production of DPM estimates which covered 14 case study local authorities (LAs). The main developments include improvements to data sources and methods, with a focus on measuring and understanding quality. As we continue to develop the DPM and resulting ABPEs, we aim to establish further improvements to these data sources and methods. You can read more about our work in today’s National Statistical blog. 

As part of the work towards producing ABPEs using the DPM, today we have also published an update to our research on producing a statistical population dataset (SPD), which is SPD version 4.0. The SPD is one of the data sources that feed in to the DPM. The purpose of our SPD research is to approximate the usually resident population down to small areas using administrative data. This work is a continuation of previous SPD research, and we have made progress in understanding our SPD by looking at comparisons to 2021 Census data. These comparisons include assessing the quality of the admin data underpinning these outputs when comparing them to the census data. We will continue to research and develop the SPD as an important input to the DPM aiming to improve the coverage using new data sources, along with developing a suitable estimation method that can adjust for the coverage differences presented in our analysis.  

An overview of the population statistics being published today is detailed in our publication around transforming population statistics, which compares 2021 population estimates in England and Wales.  

We welcome your feedback on our admin-based population estimates, our transformation journey, and our latest progress and plans. Email us your comments and questions and include Admin-based population estimates in the subject line of your response. 

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