1. Overview of our user engagement on national and subnational population projections

  • Users were invited to provide feedback on how we may approach the publication and timing of the next national population projections (NPPs) and subnational population projections (SNPPs).
  • The user engagement exercise ran from 15 October to 12 November 2020.
  • NPPs are produced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on behalf of the National Statistician and Registrars General for each UK constituent country and for the UK as a whole.
  • SNPPs are produced separately by each constituent country of the UK:
    • the ONS for England
    • National Records of Scotland (NRS) for Scotland
    • Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) for Northern Ireland
    • Welsh Government (WG) for Wales

The logos of Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA), National Records of Scotland, and Welsh Government

Household projections were not included in the scope of this user engagement exercise and we will update you on these separately.

We are grateful to everyone who took time to respond to the user engagement. Your feedback is helping us to make a more informed decision on when we should produce the next set of projections that best meet your needs.

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2. Background to recent user engagement

In the 2018-based national population projections (NPPs) and subnational population projections (SNPPs), we indicated a proposal not to produce 2020-based projections and the next set of projections would be based on 2021 Census data. This would enable us to make projections using updated base population from the 2021 Census and revised back-series of earlier years of data. Stakeholder feedback in response to this proposal suggested a possible need for 2020-based NPPs.

Furthermore, there is interest in how the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic might affect the projections and an announcement that Scotland’s census will now take place in March 2022.

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3. Requesting user feedback on the projections

To receive detailed user feedback across the range of considerations around future sets of projections, we published a user engagement article. This outlined some of the issues and provided some different options around the timescales for the next set of projections. We asked you:

  • for preferences on timescales for future projections, taking into account availability of census data
  • how they would be used
  • whether you needed any variants

We also asked whether a shorter release would meet your needs and whether you would be happy to use a new set of projections that used trends from earlier releases. Lastly, we welcomed general comments about the projections.

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4. User responses

In total, 65 user engagement responses were received from across the UK. We received 47 responses from England, 13 from Scotland, 4 from Wales and 1 from Northern Ireland. The responses came from a variety of organisations including local authorities, county councils, central government, health organisations, local councillors, national parks, consultancies and community groups. We also received responses from several academics and individuals.

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5. Next steps

We have reviewed all responses to the user engagement exercise and grouped feedback based on how respondents said they use the projections. A joint decision by the national population projections (NPPs) committee (Office for National Statistics, National Records of Scotland, Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency and the Welsh Government) on the future publication plans for the NPPs is under way. We plan to publish a summary of responses in early 2021.

Decisions on future timescales for the subnational population projections will be taken by the ONS, National Records of Scotland, Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency and the Welsh Government for each country, and will be informed by your feedback to this engagement exercise as well as local consultations, which may take place in each country.

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Manylion cyswllt ar gyfer y Erthygl

James Robards
Ffôn: +44(0)1329 444282