Dear Mary,

Thank you for your recent letter to Jonathan Athow highlighting findings from compliance checks of household estimates and projections for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. I write to you as the ONS Director responsible for Population Statistics.

Thank you for the work of your team on the compliance checks and the insights from these which will also support production and use of household projections in England.

ONS greatly values the close working relationships we have between UK statistical offices. I welcome the commitment which statisticians in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland made as part of the compliance checks to work together to help maximise the trustworthiness, quality and value of the updated household estimates and projections. I am delighted to make the same commitment and look forward to establishing deeper ties in the household estimates and projections topic area.

In the household projections area we are well placed to build on our existing close collaboration, in particular through the work of the national population projections committee. To enable closer engagement on household estimates and projections we will be discussing formation of a UK group on household estimates and projections. Where possible we will look to coordinate outputs following the latest census data being available for us to integrate into our systems.

ONS regularly engages with MHCLG and other government departments to discuss their use of population estimates, population projections and household projections. In recent months this has included engagement between the Population and Household Projections team at ONS and the Housing & Planning Statistics Team in Housing and Planning Analysis at MHCLG.

In June 2021 we announced that we plan for our next set of household projections to be published in 2023 and for these to be based on Census 2021 data. Ahead of our next round of household projections we will seek to ensure that the outputs will be of maximum trustworthiness, quality and value. Furthermore, we plan to complete further engagement to ensure the continued suitability of our household projections for their policy making.

Thank you once again for writing to ONS with the findings from your compliance checks and highlighting the insights which can also support production and use of household projections for England.

Yours sincerely

Pete Benton

Director of Transformation – Health, Population and Methods Group

CC: Stephen Aldridge, Jonathan Athow, Sandra Tudor