The availability of reliable present-day data and forecasting is essential to modern government.
The United Kingdom Statistics Authority is an independent body operating at arm’s length from government as a non-ministerial department, directly accountable to Parliament. It was established on 1 April 2008 by the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007.
The Authority’s statutory objective is to promote and safeguard the production and publication of official statistics that serve the public good. It is also required to promote and safeguard the quality and comprehensiveness of official statistics, and ensure good practice in relation to official statistics.
The UK Statistics Authority has three main functions:
- oversight of the UK official statistics system, which includes around 30 central government departments and the devolved administrations, and the promotion, safeguarding and monitoring of quality, comprehensiveness and good practice in relation to all official statistics, wherever produced;
- production of a Code of Practice for Statistics and assessment of official statistics against the Code; and
- governance of the Office for National Statistics (ONS) the UK’s National Statistical Institute and the largest producer of official statistics.
The ONS continues to maintain its own website.
Population information for the United Kingdom is published by the Office for National Statistics - Population estimates mid-2015. The estimates show an estimated overall population for the UK of 65.1 million in mid-2015 and this was made up of England 54.8m, Scotland 5.4m, Wales 3.1m and Northern Ireland 1.9m. A population census was held in 2011 and showed that on census day (27th March 2011) the population of the UK was 56,075,912. The next census will be in 2021. The legislative process necessary to undertake a census in England and Wales is governed by the Census Act 1920 as amended.