Estimating the Uncertainty in the Local Authority Mid-year Population Estimates

26 April 2016

Speaker: Professor Peter WF Smith, Professor of Social Statistics, Director of the ESRC Administrative Data Research Centre for England, Deputy Director of Southampton Statistical Sciences Research Institute 

'Estimating the Uncertainty in the Local Authority Mid-year Population Estimates'

Each year, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) produces mid-year population estimates for each local authority. In the years following the Census, these are produced by adding births, immigrants (from outside the UK) and internal in-migrants (from within the UK) and subtracting deaths, emigrants and internal out-migrants. While births and deaths are accurately measured, the other components of change are estimated by using primarily the International Passenger Survey (IPS) for international migration and the GP Patient Register (PR) for internal migration.

In this presentation, Professor Smith described some of the work he has been undertaking with the ONS over the last six years to estimate the uncertainty in these components and hence in the mid-year population estimates. For internal migration, models are built for the errors in the PR based on discrepancies between the PR and the Census. For international migration, the error distributions are estimated by bootstrapping the IPS.