Knowing the size and structure of the UK population is fundamental for decision makers and policy makers in the UK. We will continue to produce the official population statistics, and to make innovative use of existing data sources and to develop new ones where possible by working with others. We will provide additional insight into how the UK populations are living their lives and how this is changing. This has implications across many areas of society including where people live, family and household structure, fertility and mortality.
Population estimates and projections
We produce the official:
population estimates by age and sex for the UK and countries, regions and local authorities within the UK
population estimates for census, health and electoral geographies in England and Wales
components of population change (births, deaths and migration)
national population projections
subnational population projections for England
household projections for England
In addition to producing statistics on the UK population, we also build evidence on how the UK population is changing and why it is important to understand the scale and nature of those changes. Topics we cover include:
how the population is ageing and its implications
fertility and mortality patterns
families and households
the population by characteristics such as legal partnership status, UK armed forces veteran status and sexual orientation
insight into how people are living their lives by key milestones reached in life
Improving the evidence
One of our priorities is to identify which statistics and analysis will be the most helpful for understanding how and why the population is changing. We want to find why the analysis and statistics are important and what evidence would be useful to inform relevant policy decisions. We are doing this by forming partnerships with organisations and ensuring that we maximise future opportunities such as using the 2021 round of UK population censuses and future development work incorporating administrative data sources.
We are also the home of the Office for National Statistics' (ONS') Longitudinal Study (LS), one of the largest and longest running longitudinal data sources in the world. The LS links census data to life events for 1% of the population of England and Wales. It started with a sample drawn from the 1971 Census and we are currently linking 2021 census data. Once this work is complete we will hold data covering a 50-year period of significant social change.
We currently lead international work to improve the evidence on ageing globally via a United Nations collaboration - the Titchfield City Group on Ageing and Age Disaggregated Statistics. Better data on older populations will enable improved measurement of the Sustainable Development Goals.Back to table of contents