Official Statistics


The RSS Official Statistics Section committee arranges a programme of meetings on official statistics as well as contributing to the RSS annual conference. The Section Committee’s work also helps support the RSS’ National Statistics Advisory Group (where discussion of UK policy for official statistics takes place). The RSS policy page links to documents showing the RSS’ work in this area.

The remit and activities of the Section are likely to be of interest to a wide range of audiences, including many people who would not consider themselves primarily (or at all) as “statisticians” and are not members of the Section. We encourage such people to get involved in our activities, and make sure that its meetings are generally accessible to non-statisticians.


The aims and objectives of the Section are:

1. To provide a forum for discussing the collection, quality, dissemination, analysis, and interpretation of official statistics, including methods and findings.
2. To organise regular activities (working jointly with other sections of the RSS where possible) to bring together  producers and a wide range of users of official statistics.
3. The programme of meetings is designed particularly for the following audiences:
  • Statisticians working in areas related to official statistics.
  • Researchers who carry out empirical research using official statistics.
  • Users of results of official statistics, for example in the public, private, voluntary and academic sectors, politics and the media.

The terms “official statistics” should be interpreted in a broad sense. Under the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 official statistics are defined as statistics produced by the Board (effectively the ONS), a government department, the Scottish Administration, a Welsh ministerial authority, a Northern Ireland department or any other person acting on behalf of the Crown. This should include social, economic and environmental statistics. The Official Statistics Section also considers data (including open data sets) from official sources nationally and locally to be a relevant topic for discussion of official statistics.


Chair: David Matz
Vice-chair: Tom Smith
Secretary: Daria Gromyko
Meetings secretary: Shikta Das

Committee Members

Michael Baxter
Alison Macfarlane
Charles Lound
Richard Laux
Cecilia Lanata Briones
Christian Nygaard
Emma Wright
Chandan Kaur
Giuliana Battisti (Council Representative)

Past meetings

In February 2017 "How can the Office for Statistics Regulation enhance confidence in official statistics in our changing world?, Presentation by Ed Humpherson, discussant - Paul Allin. Watch on YouTube

In June 2016, an ordinary meeting was hosted by the section, at which the paper “New Statistics for Old? - Measuring the Wellbeing of the UK” (Hand, Allin) was read. A summary of the meeting is here.

In May 2016, building on the success of previous events, a joint event was held with Health Statistics User Group (HSUG), bringing together producers and users

In December 2015 a joint event with Social Statistics Section took place on the 2014-based national population projections. Paul Vickers, head of population outputs at the ONS, described the methods and discussant Jane Falkingham (University of Southampton) led a useful discussion.

Additional Information

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