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The Options at a view: the new shortlist

Initial thinking within the Programme focussed on eight possible options for the production of population statistics and socio-demographic data. Evidence available from a dry run of the options assessment process indicated that within each of these options design decisions could be made that would impact significantly on the quality that each of the options could deliver, and the associated cost. Additionally there were some identical components within each of the options and these were not made explicit in the descriptions.

In order to address this, a fresh look at the options and quality criteria has been undertaken resulting in a refined approach. Instead of defining the options in abstract terms then trying to assess whether each of them could meet specific quality standards in terms of accuracy, frequency and geography the approach was turned around to define the quality standards required, and then assess and shortlist the options that could meet them.

The table below lists the options the Programme is now considering. A brief overview can be found in the paper: Beyond 2011 Options Explained 2 (M3) (3.56 Mb Pdf) . More detail and an explanation of the quality standards the Programme is applying is available in the paper Beyond 2011 Options Report (O1). (961.7 Kb Pdf)

The options have been categorised into the following groups:

Option

Description

1

Full Census

Full census once every 10 years with a c1% coverage survey, intercensal population estimates produced by cohort component method.

2

Rolling census

Annual census of 4 -10% of the population (rolling round the country) with an annual coverage survey. Precise sampling design (how often each geographical unit is visited to be confirmed).

3

Short Form Census and 4% Annual Survey

Short form census once every 10 years with a c1% coverage survey, intercensal population estimates produced by cohort component method.
Annual attribute survey with a c4% annual achieved sample size.

4

Annu al Linkage and 10% 10-yearly Survey

Administrative data linkage plus an annual c1% coverage survey with a one-off c10% coverage survey in 2021 to validate the method.
Ten yearly attribute survey with achieved sample size of c10%.

5

Annual Linkage and 4% Annual Survey

Administrative data linkage plus an annual c1% coverage survey with a one-off c10% coverage survey in 2021 to validate the method.
Annual attribute survey with achieved sample size of c4%.

6

Annual Linkage and 40% 10-yearly Survey

Administrative data linkage plus an annual c1% coverage survey with a one-off c10% coverage survey in 2021 to validate the method.
Ten yearly attribute survey with achieved sample size of c40%.

The majority of the Programme’s research work will focus on the administrative data options (numbers 4-6 in the table above) since the cost and quality implications of these are less well understood than the census and survey options. Nonetheless all of the above options will be considered equally and assessed against an agreed and published set of criteria informed by our dialogue with users.

Criteria for Assessing the Statistical Options

  • The options will be assessed against a set of criteria including:

  • Fitness for purpose – that is, the ability to meet user requirements:
    - Statistical quality of the population estimates and attributes (specifically the accuracy, frequency and geography of the option’s outputs);
    - The production of record level microdata;
    - The continuation of the Longitudinal Study;
    - Production of historical records at record level.

  • Cost (both total cost and cost profile over time)

  • Prerequisites;
    - Legal requirements;
    - Technical and statistical feasibility.

  • Risks
    - Accessibility of data sources;
    - Resilience of data sources.
    · Other
    - Impact assessments (privacy, equality and environmental);
    - Public acceptability.

  • Further details on the options and the criteria to be used in selecting the final option(s) will be published here as they develop over the course of the Programme.

Content from the Office for National Statistics.
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