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Census

Volume 470: debated on Tuesday 8 January 2008

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) whether the European Commission or Eurostat will have access to the data collected by the 2011 census; (176378)

(2) what the timetable is for the census test and the publication of the conclusions from it;

(3) what research and work is being conducted by the Office for National Statistics into measuring multiple occupancy for the forthcoming census;

(4) whether the Office for National Statistics plans to use (a) the Ordnance Survey MasterMap product and (b) the National Land and Property Gazetteer in undertaking the next census as the address source for residential properties.

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

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 7 January 2008:

As National Statistician and Registrar General for England and Wales I have been asked to reply to your recent questions asking (i) whether the European Commission or Eurostat will have access to the data collected in the 2011 Census; (ii) what the timetable is for the Census test and the publication of the conclusions from it; (iii) whether the Office for National Statistics plans to use (a) the Ordnance Survey MasterMap product and (b) the National Land and Property Gazetteer in undertaking the next Census as the address source for residential properties; and (iv) what research and work is being conducted into measuring multiple occupancy for the forthcoming Census. (176378, 176413, 176419, 176421)

As in previous censuses, statistics from the 2011 round of European censuses, including the UK Census, will be provided to Eurostat as part of a Programme to be agreed by the EU Statistics Programme Committee, on which, as National Statistician, I am represented. The statistics to be provided by each member state will be subject to appropriate National Statistics disclosure control measures that will protect the data from disclosure of any information that would identify an individual person or household.

A full Evaluation of the Census Test, which was carried out in May, will be published in spring 2008. An initial report on the results of an address checking exercise carried out as part of the Test—‘The Coverage of address Registers for 2007 Census Test—Phase 1’ is available on the National Statistics website at

http://www.statistics.gov.uk/census/2011census/CollectingtheInfo/testingevaluation.asp

ONS is carrying out further research in order to determine the best approach for ensuring that the 2011 Census is supported by the most complete and up-to-date address information. There is currently no single definitive national address register for England and Wales that fulfils Census requirements. For the 2011 Census there is a need to assess the two competing address products, Ordnance Survey’s MasterMap Address Layer 2 (AL2) and the National Land and Property Gazetteer (NLPG). A final decision on the 2011 approach to create the initial address list will be made in 2009, on the basis of research of the address products, and ongoing discussions with suppliers about licensing costs.

A number of questions are being developed for the 2011 Census in England and Wales that will seek to collect information on multi-occupancy. These cover the type of accommodation and the extent of self-containment. ONS is developing a household frame for the 2011 Census, and will conduct a pre-Census address check, that will identify such addresses; so that the appropriate number of household forms are delivered to each address. Information from local authorities about areas with high levels of multiple occupancy will also be used to inform the enumeration methodology.