Consultation Hub

Welcome to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Consultation Hub. This site will help you find, share and participate in our consultations. This is your chance to help us produce better statistics for better decisions.
You can find details of consultations held before November 2016 on our website.

We Asked, You Said, We Did

Here are some of the issues we have consulted on and their outcomes. See all outcomes

We Asked

ONS currently produces population estimates by marital status and living arrangements for England and Wales. Where possible an estimate of the population who are in a marriage between same-sex couples is provided separately. This is currently a number, not available by age or sex because of very small estimates of this population. Throughout the majority of the publication the population who are in a marriage between opposite-sex couples and same-sex couples are presented together as a total married population.

ONS were keen to learn whether the provision of a separate estimate of the population who are in a marriage between same-sex couples is meeting user need, allowing us to gain a better understanding of who uses these estimates and how they are being used.

The consultation questions were specifically aimed at gathering user need about the number (stock) of people by marital status living in England and Wales not the number of marriages being formed in England and Wales (flow), which ONS has asked users about in the past.

You Said

We are grateful to everyone who took time to respond to the consultation. There were a total of 354 responses received from a variety of organisations and individuals that monitor, formulate or influence policy and plan services both at the national and local level. We also received responses from academics, charities and religious groups. A full list of organisations that responded can be found in Annex A. The feedback we received is very valuable to us and has helped us to better understand our users and their data requirements.

The key points to note from the responses to the consultation are:

  • 99.4% of respondents require estimates of the population who are married to be presented separately for same-sex couples and for opposite-sex couples.
  • The majority (71.8%) of responses came from individuals; the next largest group of responses (16.1%) came from religious or church groups.
  • Respondents require estimates of the married population to be separate to allow:
    • Analysis of family and relationship trends and diversity
    • Calculation of divorce rates which allows analysis of the differences in length of marriage
    • Equalities monitoring
    • Provision of a comprehensive picture of the resident population
    • Informed service provision
    • Monitoring of physical/ mental health and wellbeing outcomes
    • Support of evidence based policy making
    • Understanding of the impact and effect of the introduction of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013
    • Historical and international comparisons of the population who are in a marriage between opposite sex couples.   

We Did

As a result of this consultation, we:

  • Have a better understanding of user need which allows us to make informed decisions about marital status data collection in the future.
  • Will continue to provide separate estimates of the population who are in a marriage between same-sex couples and in a marriage between opposite-sex couples where possible.
  • Will continue to monitor these data to see whether we can provide more detailed estimates in the future which could be of more use to our users.

We Asked

Our aim was to gain a better understanding of price discrimination for export of services and how prices could be affected by exchange rates.

You Said

Information received varied across service sectors, consistent themes were identified.

We Did

Feedback obtained will be used to assist development of the Services Producer Price Index (SPPI).

We Asked

We asked for people’s views on our new experimental balanced measure of regional gross value added (GVA). This new development is designed to provide a single best estimate of regional GVA, combining the best parts of the existing income and production measures.

We wanted to be sure that users of regional GVA statistics welcomed the single measure, and to identify any concerns that people have with the methods, test results and our proposed presentation of the statistics in future publications.

You Said

We received 23 written responses from a wide range of people representing central, local and devolved government, private companies and think tanks, universities and schools. In addition, we met with many other stakeholders to present our consultation and listen to their views, at events held in Belfast, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London. The main feedback was:

  • Respondents strongly supported the introduction of a single balanced measure of regional GVA, and some requested that we continue to publish the pre-balanced income and production measures, at least for the first few years.
  • A majority of respondents were happy with the method we have used, and some offered suggestions for potential enhancements to the methodology.
  • A majority of respondents were happy with the test results, and some offered suggestions for parts that could benefit from further attention.
  • A majority of respondents were happy with our plans for the presentation of the data, and some offered suggestions for additional supporting information.

We Did

We intend to:

  • Publish the first experimental balanced estimates of regional GVA on or around 13 December 2017.
  • Publish the pre-balanced income and production estimates alongside the balanced estimates, at least while the balanced estimates remain experimental statistics.
  • Publish nominal and real estimates of balanced GVA for 80 industries at the NUTS1 level, and 71 industries at the NUTS2 level.
  • Publish real estimates of balanced regional GVA one year earlier than before.
  • Publish the existing set of income components at all geographic levels from NUTS1 down to local authority district, consistent with the balanced GVA estimates.
  • Consider the various suggestions made by respondents, with a view to introducing further improvements in future publications, as resources permit.