GKB: Geodemographics Knowledge Base

The dynamic nature of population change, advances in information technology, cost constraints and demand for more frequent and more detailed statistics are driving changes in methods for the provision of population and socio-demographic data in the UK.

ONS are investigating the feasibility of moving to a census based on administrative data after 2021. 

2016 ONS Research conference: Transforming the census — to 2021 and beyond

The aim of the conference was to inform stakeholders about the latest research, get feedback on the statistical design of the 2021 Census and Admin Data Census and reinforce confidence in the Census Transformation Programme’s delivery of a successful programme.
ONS presented research and plans around the move to a predominantly online census in 2021 and the potential move to an administrative data-based census after 2021. This included making the best use of all available data sources that are needed to produce better statistics for making better decisions.

Admin-based income statistics, England and Wales: tax year ending 2016 (published December 2018)

In these statistics, ONS brings together data from the Pay As You Earn and benefits systems to derive experimental estimates of gross and net income.

Admin-based levels of overcrowding (using the bedroom standard and Valuation Office Agency number of bedrooms), feasibility research: England and Wales

This report considers the potential for using VOA data on number of bedrooms to support the production of sub-regional estimates of overcrowding in intercensal years (which the current surveys are unable to do due to sample size).

Administrative Data Census Research Outputs

The ONS page summarising experimental outputs produced as part of the research into using administrative data to produce population and census statistics in the future.

Administrative Data Census: annual assessments

The web page for ONS annual assessments on progress made towards development of an Administrative Data Census.

Beyond 2021 - transforming the Census

A blog by ONS discussing how ONS is refining its approach to gathering and using administrative data – information people have already supplied to other government bodies – to produce census-type outputs.

Census 2022: Transforming Small Area Socio-Economic Indicators through Big Data

This research project, being conducted at Southampton University, is looking to discover indicators that could help to estimate census variables, existing large-scale geo-coded transactional datasets such as telephone calls and smart meter usage. The project has tested the utility of a range of analytic techniques for deriving traditional and novel small area socio-economic indicators including relatively simple ratios and distribution measures as well as more experimental temporal sequence and profile analysis.

Information Collected by Commercial Companies: What Might Be of Value to ONS?

The recent census in the UK, taken in March 2011, may also have been our last – since the Office for National Statistics has announced that it intends to explore alternative more cost-effective options for ‘census taking’ in the future. In this paper, we consider what the options may be, based on approaches and experiences from other countries, and assess their implications for users. We start by reminding ourselves about the value of the census and the strengths and weaknesses of the current approach. We then identify the principal methods being followed in other countries, together with their advantages and disadvantages. This leads us to review methodological work in the UK, building up to the current ‘Beyond 2011’ ONS project. We focus on administrative records as a possible way of removing the need for a full population survey. Finally, we assess the options and discuss the implications for users in market research.

Mid-2020 population of the UK by country of birth and nationality

ONS has released (14 January 2021) mid-2020 estimates of the population of the UK by country of birth and nationality.

Migration and Population Statistics Newsletter

The December 2020 edition of the migration and population statistics newsletter, published on 14 December 2020, includes news on recent and upcoming releases and events, and updates on the work that ONS has been doing in the last quarter.

New ONS Inclusive Data Taskforce

As part of the ONS’s drive to ensure that its statistics reflect the experiences of everyone in society it has established a new Inclusive Data Taskforce. In this blog (11 January 2021) Chair of the Taskforce Dame Moira Gibb explains the importance of this work and how users can offer their views.

Occupied address (household) estimates from Administrative Data: 2011 and 2015 (published February 2017)

This ONS work presents results from continued research into a different methodology of estimating the household population using administrative data. This is part of a series of Administrative Data Census Research Outputs the first which was published in October 2015.

ONS Data source overviews

This ONS page summarises the data sources being used for the experimental Administrative Data Census research outputs, as well as those sources being evaluated for use in the 2021 Census.

ONS research into the use of Valuation Office Agency data to produce overcrowding statistics

ONS has published (18 January 2021) two reports showing research into the use of Valuation Office Agency (VOA) data to produce overcrowding statistics:

Estimating the number of rooms in Census 2021: an update on deriving an occupancy rating from Valuation Office Agency number of rooms

ONS plans to use administrative data from the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) to replace the number of rooms question in the 2021 Census. This report looks at the impact the use of VOA data on number of rooms has on room occupancy ratings, outlining the method we plan to use to account for definitional differences and asking users for feedback on the method.

Overview of the UK population

ONS has released (14 January 2021) an overview of the UK population. This includes information on how the population has changed, why it has changed and how it is projected to change into the future.

Research outputs estimating the size of the population in England and Wales: 2016 release (published November 2016)

This presents ONS research and population statistics based on a different methodology to that currently followed in the production of official population statistics. A Statistical Population Dataset (SPD) makes use of linked administrative data to estimate population. These research outputs are NOT official statistics on the population.

Research Outputs: Income from PAYE and benefits (published December 2016)

At the end of 2016 ONS published their first Administrative Data Census research outputs on income. These outputs are the start of ONS research to assess whether it’s feasible to produce income outputs from administrative data. This release produces local authority level individual gross annual income distributions.

UK Electoral Statistics 2020

The number of parliamentary electoral registrations at 2 March 2020 was at the highest level ever recorded. This increase, compared to December 2019, reflects the full uplift due to the most recent General Election.

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