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Improving Migration Population Statistics Programme

Volume 450: debated on Thursday 19 October 2006

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how much has been spent on the Improving Migration Population Statistics programme each year since the 2001 census, broken down by main budget heading; (94222)

(2) how much was spent on the Office for National Statistics’ Task Group to investigate migration using central data sources, broken down by main budget heading.

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 19 October 2006:

As National Statistician I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Questions asking how much has been spent on the Improving Migration and Population Statistics programme each year since the 2001 Census, broken down by main budget headings and what expenditure was on the Office for National Statistics’ Task Group to investigate migration using central sources, broken down by main budget headings. (94222, 94223)

The Improving Migration and Population Statistics (IMPS) project was established during 2004 to research improvements to the statistics to avoid, for the 2011 Census, the problems that occurred when there was a large difference between the 2001 Census figures and the rolled-forward mid-year population estimates.

The amount spent is shown in the table below, for each financial year since the project was set up according to the following key strands of work:

IMPS research—including research into improvements to internal migration statistics and collaborative work with Local Authorities to investigate the potential for making greater use of administrative data sources to improve local estimates

Migration—including work to take forward the recommendations of the National Statistics Quality Review (NSQR) of international migration statistics and the recent Task Force

Population definition issues

Figures for 2006/7 relate to the projected budget for the current financial year, rather than the amount spent to date.

£000

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07 (planned)

IMPS research

442

541

508

Migration

166

283

429

Population definitions

62

85

119

Total

670

909

1056

The Inter-departmental Task Force on Migration Statistics was established by ONS in May 2006. The cost to ONS of supporting the Task Force was approximately £110,000. This was met from the Improving Migration and Population Statistics budget.

In addition to support costs, there were six meetings of the Task Force at which officials from across government were present. The total cost of these meetings to government departments was approximately £20,000.