The mission of the ONS is to ensure public understanding and decision-making is informed by timely and high-quality analysis and statistics. During the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ONS has responded to the need for rapid information that has been used by decision-makers. As we approach another bank holiday weekend, Deputy National Statistician Iain Bell reflects on how the ONS has informed the response to the pandemic so far.
In the months ahead ONS will continue to provide new information to inform the UK’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. New analysis of the transmission rate will be included along with further insight on the social and economic impacts. In this post Liz McKeown and Grant Fitzner, who are leading the analytical response, reflect on our progress so far, and describe our plans going forward.Read more
Soon after the pandemic began, Jonathan Athow wrote here about challenges the ONS would face in measuring its effect on the UK economy. Since then the first official data has revealed the scale of the immediate impact. As more data comes on stream, here he updates on the continuing work to ensure the ONS is able to paint the most accurate picture possible of these dramatic recent changes.Read more
To aid the response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic the ONS has been introducing many new surveys and started using wider sources of data. Meanwhile important transformational work in other areas, including consumer price statistics has continued. Together the planned improvements form the most significant change to inflation statistics in a generation and will greatly improve the detail and representativity of the ONS measures.Read more
Restrictions designed to halt the spread of COVID-19 have changed patterns of international travel dramatically. Jay Lindop explains how our migration statistics are changing to reflect this new context.Read more
Understanding how COVID-19 is spreading across the population is crucial to controlling the pandemic and its effects. A large study jointly led by the ONS, in partnership with the Universities of Oxford and Manchester, Public Health England and Wellcome Trust, is tracking infections within a representative sample of people of all ages across England. As the initial estimates are released, Pete Benton, Director of Population and Public Policy Operations, explains what they mean, why there are important and how to compare this survey to other COVID-19 estimates.Read more