Our migration statistics, published in May 2023, showed that the population of England and Wales continues to change after Census 2021. Earlier this year in our Provisional plans for publishing the latest population and migration estimates statement, we explained we want to provide the best possible statistics so that important decisions on social and economic policy, both locally and nationally, can be made with confidence. This remains our objective.

Census 2021 showed us our historical methods of producing population and migration estimates, while the best we were able to produce based on the data available, can be improved. We have been working over the summer to revise migration statistics using our new administrative data methods over the intercensal period (2012 to 2021) and rebase population statistics for the same period, using the same data. Find out more about our new methods in our Growing confidence in our ability to move to a new population statistics system blog post.

To provide consistent estimates across a number of upcoming publications and ensure these are all based on the most up-to-date information, we are changing our publication timetable.

On 23 November, we will publish:

  • rebased population and revised migration estimates for the period of June 2012 to June 2021; these are based on Census 2021 figures

  • new official migration estimates consistent with the back-series up to year end June 2023

  • new official mid-2022 population estimates, using our traditional cohort component method

  • an update to our Revisions policy for population and international migration statistics, so users know the timetable for updating our statistics as more data becomes available and as we further improve our methods

Following this, we will publish:

  • new official mid-2023 population estimates, using methods from the dynamic population model (DPM)

  • a full timeseries from 2011 to 2023 of population estimates from the DPM to allow direct comparisons with the mid-year population estimates as part of our transformation of population statistics

Our new methods enable us to produce higher quality demographic statistics which are underpinned by population estimates. We will review the planned publication dates of these statistics and update the Office for National Statistics (ONS) release calendar accordingly.

We are consulting on the future of population and migration statistics in England and Wales. The consultation will close on 26 October 2023. The responses to the consultation will inform a recommendation from the UK Statistics Authority, on the advice of the National Statistician, to be published later in 2023 to 2024.