New public policy analysis quarterly review published: The year so far

New insights on scale of childhood bereavement, the jobs at risk of automation and how inequality is affecting life expectancy have all come from ONS Public Policy Analysis this year. Following the publishing of the second edition of our quarterly review, Liz McKeown looks back on some of these findings and discusses how you can also input to this review.

Across Public Policy Analysis (PPA), we produce a wealth of information on a number of important topics. From health to housing, life expectancy to loneliness, environment to earnings, crime and migration, any list of the biggest and most complex issues facing society today will be dominated by topics covered by the ONS. We provide decision makers – from citizens to the heart of government – with invaluable data, evidence and insights.

To keep people abreast of the latest analysis from these topics, we launched the last Public Policy Analysis Quarterly Review earlier this year. This aimed to provide a brief overview of the key findings from a range of analysis we had produced over the last quarter.

As this was a pilot, we were keen to hear your view and it’s been great to receive some really positive feedback. People liked the fact that this relatively short document gave them a broad insight into the analysis that we had produced recently and signposted them to where they could either get in touch with the team responsible or read the full article on the ONS website.

Today, we are publishing our second edition of the Public Policy Analysis Quarterly Review. This edition, covering the period of January to March, 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 – in new analysis we estimated the number of children who have experienced the death of their mother before they reach age 16 years. Separately, we explored the prevalence of mental disorders in children by various contributing factors. We also published new estimates on the deaths of homeless people by Local Authority.
  • Making use of new data sources and approaches to improve the insights we can provide – we provided new estimates of the risk of automation across the labour market, including analysis of those occupations most at risk of automation. We also showcased a new approach to improving measures of income for those at the top of the income distribution.
  • Exploring key social trends which have significant policy implications – we produced an article exploring inequalities in life expectancy by national deprivation decile. We have also delivered new estimates exploring the interplay between working later in life and caring responsibilities. Also included is findings from our Migration Statistics Quarterly Report which explores long-term international migration for the UK.

We’ve also listened to the feedback we received and have added a new section – charts of the quarter – which looks to provide further insight into some of our findings through data visualisation. As well as this, we have added links to all the releases that we have done in the past quarter. We want to continue to refine this review, so please do carry on letting us know what you think, and if you have any suggestions for things you would like to be included, please contact

Our aim with these reviews is to cover a quarter at a time, in this instance – January to March, and to produce it as quickly as possible as to not be out of date. Unfortunately, this release did get delayed due to publication guidelines during election periods. As a result, some data released during the quarter has been updated before we are able to make this review available. Where new data are available, we have included the most up to date estimates, even if they were produced outside of the quarter.

The next quarterly review, covering April to June will be available by the end of July, meaning you won’t have to wait long for the next edition.

Liz McKeown is Director of Public Policy Analysis at the ONS