Types of official statistics

The Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 defines ‘official statistics’ as all statistical outputs produced by the Office for National Statistics,  central Government departments and agencies,  the devolved administrations in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and  other Crown bodies. The Act also allows ministers to determine which non-Crown Bodies produce official statistics, through secondary legislation. Non-Crown Bodies named through secondary legislation will also be be eligible for assessment as ‘National Statistics’.

This provision is designed to ensure a broad definition of official statistics, as well as flexibility so that the scope of official statistics can be adapted over time to suit changing circumstances.

The term ‘official statistics’ includes several categories of statistics produced by public bodies:

  • ‘National Statistics’ – these are assessed as compliant with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.
  • statistics labelled as experimental, that are not yet mature enough to be assessed as ‘National Statistics’.
  • statistics that have not been assessed as ‘National Statistics’.

What are ‘National Statistics’?

‘National Statistics’ are a subset of official statistics which have been certified as compliant with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. There are three basic types:

  • legacy ‘National Statistics’ – statistical products designated as ‘National Statistics’ before April 2008,  which have not yet been formally re-assessed  for compliance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.
  • re-assessed ‘National Statistics’ – statistical products that kept their National Statistics status after a formal re-assessment.
  • new ‘National Statistics’ – statistical products that have gained ‘National Statistics’ after a first formal assessment by the Office for Statistics Regulation.

For a complete list of all National Statistics, see the list maintained by the Office for Statistics Regulation.

Accredited ‘National Statistics’ are identified by the following quality mark:

National Statistics Quality Mark