Friday, 25 February 2011

Home Office Consultation on Immigration Statistics Publications

Comments on the proposals, summarised below, are sought from users of the following publications produced by Home Office Statistics:

• Control of Immigration: United Kingdom Statistics (annual publication)
• Control of Immigration: Quarterly Statistical Summary
• British Citizenship Statistics (annual publication)

The consultation ends on 4 May 2011 and a summary update is planned to be included in Control of Immigration: Quarterly Statistical Summary Q1 2011 at the end of May.

Home Office Statistics are proposing a phased development of changes that would ultimately lead to the release of data using the web as the main vehicle of dissemination.

It is proposed that in a phased development between August 2011 and February 2012:

i) commentary and analysis of the data should be structured in virtual topics, be shorter and focus on key points, but provide longer term trends;

ii) the annual and quarterly Control of Immigration publications, together with the British Citizenship Statistics, are combined to avoid duplication;

iii) tables are presented in such a way that makes them more accessible to users, in particular listing within tables all annual data, followed by quarterly data (a draft example of this layout is available in Table 1.2 of Control of Immigration: Quarterly Statistical Summary Q4 2010); and a standard and full country of nationality and continent list;

iv) the number of tables released is reduced through a combination of amalgamation and a reduction in the variables reported on; and

v) all data (except passenger arrivals) are provided unrounded.

The latest publications and a copy of the consultation, containing further details and the consultation questions, are available from

Please send your responses to

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Launch of the ESRC Secure Data Service

On Tuesday 29th March the ESRC funded Secure Data Service will be officially launched at the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS), One Victoria Street, London SW1H 0ET

To celebrate this major advance in the UK data infrastructure and the resulting increase in data access for policy based research, two events will be held:

6.00 Drinks reception
6.30 Keynote address and panel discussion
Speakers to include:

• Jil Matheson, National Statistician, UK Statistics Authority
• Paul Boyle, Chief Executive, Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
• Julia Lane, Program Director, National Science Foundation (USA) and Chair, Secure Data Service Advisory Committee
• Melanie Wright, Director, Secure Data Service

To book your place:

Before the official launch there will also be a joint workshop

VML/SDS workshop: Joining together to improve research and impact

2.00-5.30  A decade of microdata: what have we learned, and what difference has it made?

This short workshop will focus on how changes in microdata access have affected research, policy and our understanding of the world, particularly in relation to economic performance. Information about how the VML and Secure Data Service will work together to provide researchers with access to data will also be provided.

To book your place:

NOTE: Building security requires all attendees to book in advance. Kindly submit your booking form no later than Monday 21 March 2011.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

On-line Tool for Data Management Plans

The Digital Curation Centre has released a trial version of a new tool to assist users in developing data management plans 

Funding bodies increasingly require their grant-holders to produce and maintain Data Management Plans (DMPs), both at the bid-preparation stage and after funding has been secured.

DMP Online is designed to enable researchers to build and edit DMPs with a view to the requirements stipulated by the major UK funders.

If you are applying to one of the funders that make specific data-related demands at the application stage (i.e. AHRC, BBSRC, ESRC, MRC, Wellcome) you will see the funder's requirements in the left-hand column. These have been mapped to the appropriate clauses in the DCC Checklist for a Data Management Plan. By answering these questions, you should de facto meet the funder's requirements. The tool also presents options for developing DMPs for funding bodies that do not have specific data related demands.

For US researchers a prototype based on the DCC tool is in development

World Bank Development Data in Stata

WBOPENDATA has been added to the utilities available through the RLAB stata licenses.

If you have your own stata license and would like to install WBOPENDATA the command is:

ssc install wbopendata

WBOPENDATA draws from the main World Bank collections of development indicators, compiled from officially-recognized international sources, and made available through the World Bank Open Data Initiative, and presents the most current and accurate global development data available, and includes national, regional and global estimates. Users can chose from one of three of the languages supported by the database, namely, English, Spanish, or French. Three possible downloads options are currently supported: country - all indicators for all years for a single country. topic - all indicators within a specific topic, for all years and all countries. indicator - all years for all countries for a single indicator. Users can also choose to have the data displayed in either the wide or long format (wide is the default option).

For example, to download all data available for the Philippines for all years, type:

wbopendata, country(phl) clear

This returns data for 972 indicators from 1960 to the latest year available. The default data display is in wide format.

The list of countries, topics, and indicators and their corresponding codes are documented in the help file (see -help wbopendata-).

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Consultation on Crime Statistics

The National Statistician has launched a web based invitation to comment on how crime statistics should be compiled in future. Anyone with an interest in crime statistics is invited to feed in their views, which will help shape the recommendations from the independent review of crime statistics she is currently conducting.

The Home Secretary has invited the National Statistician to conduct an independent review of crime statistics with the aim of increasing public confidence in these statistics. The Home Secretary has decided that the publication of crime statistics should be moved out of the Home Office to promote greater trust and demonstrate their independence.

The review aims to:

- consider gaps, discrepancies and discontinuities within crime statistics;

- recommend the best future location for the publication of crime statistics, and their associated data collection systems;

- and, produce an action plan for the implementation of recommendations from the UK Statistics Authority’s report Overcoming Barriers to Trust in Crime Statistics: England and Wales published in May 2010.

The open 'invitation to comment' period closes at midnight on 10 March 2011.

The review is due to report at the end of April 2011. It is then intended to run a public consultation on the recommendations from the review. If you are interested in commenting on the review please follow this link

Monday, 14 February 2011

Introduction to the ESRC Secure Data Service

Date: 17th February
Time: 15.30-16.30
Location: CEP Conference Room, London School of Economics

The Secure Data Service is an ESRC-funded service designed to provide approved researchers with safe and secure access to confidential/sensitive data free of charge, from any UK higher education or research institution.

The Service currently provides access to detailed social and health data, including versions of the British Household Panel Survey and Understanding Society, with grid-references for each respondent.

It is anticipated that the Service will also provide access to the business and economic microdata collections currently available only from the ONS Virtual Microdata Laboratory.

This information event is designed to inform you about the Service and the datasets that will be available to you.

For queries, please contact the Secure Data Service at

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Census 2011 consultation

The second consultation on the main set of 2011 statistical outputs is now available online. The documents include:

- a user guide
- the consultation
- an indicative set of tabular outputs, which ONS intends to produce following the 2011 Census
- a spreadsheet defining the geographical levels at which outputs will be produced in England and Wales

Here is a link to the material:

You can feed back your reactions to the revised designs at one of the Output Roadshows, which commence on 14th February. Places are currently still available at all events. If you have not already booked a place, details of dates and venues and the Registration form can be found in the Downloads panel on this page:

View the latest news on the 2011 Census :-

View further information regarding the background of the 2011 Census :-

View the Census News archive :-