Who we are

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is the executive office of the UK Statistics Authority (UKSA). Led by the National Statistician, Sir Ian Diamond, it is the UK’s national statistical institute and largest producer of official statistics. The ONS produces data, statistics and analysis on a range of key economic, social and demographic topics. Key services include:

  • measuring changes in the value and composition of the UK economy;
  • estimating the size, geographical distribution and characteristics of the population (including information from the Census);
  • COVID-19 statistics and analysis; and
  • providing indicators of other social and economic topics of national interest.

Also led by the National Statistician, the Government Statistical Service (GSS) is a cross-government network, spread across a whole range of public bodies, including components of the devolved administrations and UK government departments. The GSS is also part of the cross- government Analysis Function and is developing its own plan under the umbrella of the UKSA Strategy. The ONS sits at the heart of the GSS and Analysis Function and works with the network to provide the statistical evidence base, professional advice and analysis required by decision-makers.

The ONS’s outputs, in line with the rest of the GSS, are regulated by the Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR). The OSR sets the code of practice; ensures that statistics are produced and disseminated in the public good; and enhances public confidence in the trustworthiness, quality and value of statistics. Those that meet the highest standards are given National Statistics status by the OSR – this applies to a range of the ONS’s key outputs.

As at 31 March 2021, the ONS had a current workforce of 4,958 FTE, including our national field force of approximately 701 FTE, distributed across 17 different professions. The majority of staff are able to operate remotely, demonstrated successfully during the COVID-19 pandemic. The ONS has three office locations in Newport, Titchfield and London.

There were also 15,341 FTE Census Field Staff on short term fixed contracts.

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