Consultation on the future of population and migration statistics in England and Wales

Closed 29 Oct 2023

Opened 29 Jun 2023

Results updated 30 Oct 2023

This public consultation opened on 29 June 2023 and closed on 26 October 2023. We are currently analysing the responses. We will publish a consultation update here by 18 January 2024, which will give an insight into the levels of responses we received and the methods we are using in our analysis. 

Responses to the consultation will inform a recommendation to government from the UK Statistics Authority, on the advice of the National Statistician. This recommendation will detail how the Office for National Statistics (ONS) should produce statistics about population and migration in England and Wales in the future, based on user need. An analysis of the consultation responses will be published alongside the recommendation.   

We would like to thank all respondents for their valuable feedback, which will continue to guide our work in this area.   

If you would like more information about our research to date, please see our Research outputs using administrative data webpage


This consultation is also available in Welsh.

Our transformation plans 

At the Office for National Statistics (ONS), we want your views on our ambitious plans for the transformation of our population and migration statistics. These statistics cover a wide range of areas, including household characteristics, employment, health, religion and international migration. 

High-quality, timely population statistics are essential to ensure people get the services and support they need within communities and nationwide. We are consulting to ensure that the population and migration statistics and analysis we produce continue to meet the changing needs of policy makers, citizens, and other data users. Our statistics should give you frequent, clear, timely and detailed insights into society. We also want to improve the coverage and accuracy of our statistics over time. To make sure that we meet your needs, we need your feedback on our proposals. 

The consultation document explains the ONS’s proposals to create a sustainable system for producing essential, up-to-date statistics about the population. To do this, the system would primarily use administrative data such as tax or benefit data, complemented by survey data and a wider range of data sources. This could radically improve the statistics that the ONS produces each year and could replace the current reliance on the census every ten years. This consultation is seeking views on how these proposals meet the needs of users of ONS statistics compared to a system based on a census. 

Learn more about how we plan to deliver population and migration statistics in the future by watching our transformation journey video. The video is also available with British Sign Language

Who should take part? 

We welcome contributions from all users. This includes those who are experienced users of ONS’s statistics, through to those who are looking to use ONS population and migration data for the first time. We value everyone’s feedback.  

How to take part 

Before you take part in the consultation, you can find out more about our proposed plans in the consultation document below. It is available in English and Welsh and accessible for users of screen readers. 

When you complete the questionnaire, only the first section, 'About you', is mandatory, all other sections are optional. This means that you can choose what you comment on. 

We ask you to consider our proposals and respond to this consultation. A better understanding of your needs and priorities will help us shape our plans for these important statistics.  

You can contact the ONS for help or further information about this consultation at

Thank you.  


  • Anyone from any background


  • Labour market
  • Migration
  • Population
  • Statistics
  • Data
  • Formal consultations