Filling in the gaps: Introducing our new quarterly public policy analysis review

Recent ground-breaking work from ONS has produced new statistics and analysis on a range of topics including deaths of homeless people; children and young people’s loneliness; and the impact of the ageing population. Here, Liz McKeown launches our new Public Policy Analysis Quarterly Review – a new way for people to keep up to date with our important insights.

Last year I introduced our five new ONS centres – each focused on an area of significant policy interest – through this blog. I was delighted with the response to that blog and the interest expressed in the wide range of social and environmental statistics we produce and public policy analysis we undertake. In follow up conversations with policymakers, academics and think tanks I found that there was a lot of interest in people being able to keep abreast of the latest analysis the centres were undertaking as well as in seeing the latest findings from other public policy analysis we were producing, brought together in one place.

Since then, we have been exploring how we might meet this demand and today are pleased to launch the first edition of the Public Policy Analysis Quarterly Review. This short publication aims to provide a brief overview of the key findings from a range of analysis we’ve produced over the last quarter while providing links to the fuller articles for those who want to find out more.

For this first edition, we’ve looked a little beyond the last quarter to draw in the most interesting recent insights but in the future we would look for each review to provide key findings from the previous three months. This first edition showcases our work across a wide range of areas including the following highlights:

  • Shining a light on the issues faced by the most vulnerable in society – we outline new analysis estimating for the first time the number of deaths of homeless people in England and Wales. Separately, we highlight the key findings from ONS’ first in-depth qualitative report on children’s and young people’s loneliness.
  • Exploring key social trends which have significant policy implications – we present analysis to establish definitively whether there has been a statistically significant change in the decreasing trend in mortality. The review also provides the latest findings from our work analysing the ageing population; looking at the interaction between working later in life, health and caring responsibilities.
  • Making use of new data sources and approaches to transform the insights we can provide – we present the findings from two recent publications from the Centre for Crime and Justice on domestic abuse and sexual offending which draw data from a number of organisations together to provide richer insights. We also outline the latest research from our migration and population transformation programme where we are making use of a greater range of data to provide better more granular statistics.
  • And much more besides…from environmental taxes to economies of ale, healthcare productivity to household projections and Sustainable Development Goals to small area house prices, you’ll find fascinating insights across a whole range of policy areas which you might have missed when we first published them!

We’re considering this edition to be a pilot and would very much welcome your feedback. We’re already thinking of other features we might add in the future – for example; a look ahead to planned outputs in the next quarter. But we’d love to hear what you would like to see more or less of in future editions and how can we make this as useful as possible to you? Please do send any feedback to


Liz McKeown is Director of Public Policy Analysis for the ONS