Our main responsibilities as the Executive Office of the UK Statistics Authority include the collection, compilation, analysis and dissemination of a range of economic, social and demographic statistics relating to the United Kingdom that serve the public good and meet our legal obligations (both domestic and international); the provision of statistical leadership and methodological advice for the benefit of UK official statistics; representing the UK in the international arena; and the development and maintenance of definitions, methodologies, and classifications of statistics.
ONS produces of a wide range of statistics covering the UK economy, society and much more.
Familiar economic statistics are the Retail Sales Index (RSI), Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the UK Balance of Payments - all are economic statistics produced by ONS. Economic statistics focus on the financial status of UK businesses in areas such as manufacturing, retail and the service sector. As well as being valuable in its own right this information is used to produce the UK National Accounts.
Crime and migration statistics are often mentioned in the media and are two of a large range of social statistics produced by ONS. Social statistics focus on the UK population, its health and lifestyle choices and environmental issues.
Statistics about population and demography in England and Wales, including births and deaths, are also produced by ONS. One of the key components of this is the 2011 Census (for England and Wales). With the Beyond 2011 Programme, we are exploring new ways of producing population statistics, including the scope for using administrative data sources i.e. data already collected and held by other government departments and public bodies in the course of delivering services
Other types of ONS statistics include Tourism, Societal Well-being and Fire & Rescue Services.
The ONS makes a valuable contribution to the statistical methodology used in the UK, Europe and internationally.
The production and quality of national statistics is very closely controlled. ONS assesses the quality of its statistics against a Protocol on Statistical Integration and Classification.
The UK Statistics Authority also publishes a Code of Practice for Official Statistics that sets out the professional standards which official statistics are expected to meet and there is a European Statistics Code of Practice. The ONS Protocol reflects these codes.
ONS is a partner in the celebration of International Year of Statistics 2013 ('Statistics2013'). The aim of which is to promote the importance of statistics through the combined energies of societies and organisations worldwide to the broader scientific community, business and government data users, media, policy makers, employers, students and the general public