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Beyond 2011 - The UK Context

The UK Population Committee (which includes the National Statistician, the Registrars General and the Chief Statistician for the Welsh Government) has previously discussed and agreed the importance of collaboration in exploring alternatives to a traditional census and adopting a UK approach. A series of developments are underway in the different administrations with each keeping the others in touch with progress.

The UK Beyond 2011 Committee (UKBC) has been established to coordinate UK-wide work to review alternative approaches to meeting future user needs for population and small area socio-demographic statistics, and agree the way forward, maximising harmonisation of UK outputs.
Its role is to agree the scope of cross UK working and coordination and to provide strategic input to this work taking into account:

  • the independent authority of the Devolved Administrations (DAs)

  • the wider initiatives underway in Scotland and the DAs

  • the potential benefits and cost savings from adopting a collaborative approach

  • the need to maximise harmonisation of UK outputs, and

  • the legal requirements for the provision of UK aggregate statistical data to Eurostat

Further details can be found in the Inter Administration Agreement (available in Downloads).

England and Wales

ONS is leading on the Beyond 2011 Programme and work is already well underway on assessing options and developing criteria for short-listing possible approaches. A full programme of user and stakeholder engagement is ongoing to support the Beyond 2011 Programme. The Beyond 2011 Programme will provide a costed recommendation on the way forward in 2014.  Contact Beyond 2011 at

The Welsh Government is working closely with ONS to review the options to ensure that Welsh interests and needs are properly reflected in any proposed way forward. If you have a particular Welsh issue you may wish to contact the Welsh Government at:


The census in Scotland is the responsibility of the Registrar General for Scotland, who leads the National Records of Scotland (NRS), formerly the General Register Office for Scotland (GROS). NRS established their Beyond 2011 Programme in September 2011 to explore the future provision of population and socio-demographic information/statistics in Scotland. The programme is investigating a range of solutions to the traditional census, including the possibility of using administrative sources or developing a more cost-effective and efficient census design. Scotland is working closely with colleagues in ONS and NISRA to ensure a consistent and coordinated approach to the future production of UK population statistics.

To register your interest and to be kept up to date with developments on census alternatives and wider statistical work in Scotland, please register with ScotStat and select the 'demography' area of interest.

Alternatively contact  for more information or join the Scottish Beyond 2011 Knowledge Hub site.

Northern Ireland

The Registrar General for Northern Ireland has responsibility for making the necessary arrangements to run a census. A detailed review of the 2011 Census in Northern Ireland will begin after the initial results are published. This review will include the examination of options for the future provision of socio-demographic statistics in Northern Ireland. Any proposals stemming from this work will be subject to consultation. To register interest e-mail:

Content from the Office for National Statistics.
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