Chief Statistician’s update: Migration and housing – how the GSS is working together for better statistics

Darllenwch y dudalen hon yn Gymraeg

As Welsh Government statisticians our primary job is to ensure that we are producing statistics that help us understand the people, society and economy of Wales. However we also work with the Government Statistical Service across the UK to ensure we are collaborating and sharing ideas on how best to respond to the big policy questions. By working collaboratively we can share data and analysis that provides greater insight for users on particular topics. With that in mind I wanted to share two updates from the Government Statistical Service in the last week that highlight how we are looking to work together.

The first is an update on work being led by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), working with the Home Office (the lead policy department), us in the devolved administrations and other government departments who have a strong interest in improving the migration evidence base. The emerging user needs for migration data, particularly over the past two years, have shone a light on the limitations of our migration statistics in the UK. This work is intended to use administrative data sources from across the UK to ensure we have better understanding of not only migration trends but also on the impact of migration. This is an incredibly important piece of work and, for Wales, a potential game-changer in producing more robust and detailed migration data. This is being carried out through the cross-government migration statistics transformation programme.

The second is a blog by the Deputy National Statistician Iain Bell on how we will work across the UK to develop a clearer landscape for housing statistics and take forward areas of common interest. We’re already working hard, together with stakeholders and users, to improve our housing statistics in Wales. We recently completed fieldwork on the first Welsh House Conditions Survey in a decade and have ambitious plans to develop a Housing Stock analytical resource, bringing together different datasets on housing. Iain’s blog recognises this work alongside other work across the UK and explains how we will work together on shared priorities, coherence and accessibility to data. This also helps us respond to a recent Office for Statistics Regulation report on the Public Value of Statistics on Housing. This report identified a number of areas of good practice as well as opportunities for improvements to the housing statistical landscape that would help us all respond to society’s evolving questions about housing.

These are two examples of how, as a GSS, we can work together on particular priorities to deliver better statistics across the UK and we will continue to keep you updated as work progresses.

I’d welcome views on the topics discussed in this update – please email or contact us on Twitter, ‘StatisticsWales’.

Glyn Jones
Chief Statistician

31 May 2018