Presentation on theme: "The UK Census: future directions Peter J Fullerton Administrative Sources and Integration Division."— Presentation transcript:
The UK Census: future directions Peter J Fullerton Administrative Sources and Integration Division
Overview UK Census Census aims and uses Challenges in Census taking Possible alternatives Future of the Census
The UK Census Population enumeration 1695: Gregory King – 5.5 million Regular Census every ten years since 1801 (not 1941) 2001 Census – Count me in Next Census: 27 th March 2011 –Enhanced enumeration and content –Recognise the challenge
Census: aims and uses Counting the population –Source for baseline population statistics –Reference point for other sources Detail available at small area level Key outputs Population count Population structure Population characteristics
Census: aims and uses Key component of population estimates –Determines financial settlements (central and local government) –Basis for establishing rates (e.g. deaths, health, crime) –Estimation of need and demand in services & business Many research uses –e.g. SARs, LS
Census taking: challenges Ability to count full population? Rate of change in population and Census frequency –Migration most important component of population change Expensive (2001 cost £255m) Fit for purpose?
Census taking: challenges Statistics Commission: Traditional census … has almost had its day Treasury Committee Counting the Population (2008) … set strategic objectives to enable … the 2011 Census to be the last census in the UK where the population is counted through the collection of census forms.
Census taking: rising to the challenge Census is still a key data source Amount of data held by government has increased Make better use of existing data –Administrative sources at individual record level –Survey data Use of potential future data –e.g. National Identity Scheme, e-Borders data –Register-based Census approach – Scandinavia, Netherlands
Census taking: other approaches Benefits Improvements to frequency and timeliness Reduction of respondent burden and cost Potential to improve coverage Potential to improve data detail Increased possibility to measure reliability of results
Census taking: other approaches Challenges Public opinion and legislation Quality of data sources Content Changes in data e.g. movement of individuals at local level
Census taking: other approaches Aim Source Population Count Population Structure Population Characteristics Census ? Admin data ?X Registers ? X Surveys X
Census taking: other approaches Need for a complementary approach Census remains best available count Census still recognised as the standard But issues – e.g. frequency Other sources also have their problems e.g. evidence that register approach has limitations Development of an approach that borrows strength from various sources
Census taking: alternatives Need for a complementary approach Will take significant time and resources Need for extensive user consultation Recognition of intensive use of Census data No decisions taken yet