Migration statistics

Written evidence submitted by Analytics Cambridge (5STATS 07)

Please accept this as a response to the Public Administration Select Committee’s call for views on Migration Statistics.

These view are from the company and myself as an individual with an interest in demography to understand the characteristics and needs of areas, for example in providing "public" services such as schools, health, or community development and care.

The comments are in response to  Question 6.  "What more could be done to improve the quality of migration statistics?" 

We would suggest that more attention needs to be given to improving migration data at the level of local authority (more specifically District or Unitary level).  This is particularly international migration data which is more difficult to measure / estimate compared to within UK migration by people who may be on administrative systems held by / on behalf of the UK Government.

In some Local Authorities more than others, international migrants can make a significant component of population change.  Although information from Censuses of Population provides a solid foundation for understanding local populations every 10 years better information on the changes in these between Censuses would help allocate resources better according to need.

In order to come to a more considered view on the value of this you might consider examining:

a.            the impact of international migration data quality on the accuracy of estimates of population of Local Authority District / Unitary between Censuses

b.            a cost benefit analysis comparing costs for improving the quality of international migration estimates at LA level against the benefits of more accurate information

January 2013

Prepared 4th February 2013