The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is the executive office of the UK Statistics Authority, a non-ministerial department which reports directly to Parliament. ONS is the UK Government's single largest statistical producer.


ONS operates under two levels of governance:

  1. Strategic oversight is provided by the Statistics Authority
  2. Day-to-day management is the responsibility of the Director General, who is supported by a team of Director

The main responsibilities of ONS include:
  • the collection, compilation, analysis and dissemination of a range of economic, social and demographic statistics relating to the United Kingdom that serve the public good and meet legal obligations (both domestic and international) in conjunction with the National Statistician;
  • providing statistical leadership and methodological advice for the benefit of UK official statistics; undertaking various representational roles in an international context;

  • and the development and maintenance of definitions, methodologies, and classifications of statistics.

Outputs and Activities

ONS is responsible for the production of a wide range of economic and social statistics, for example:
  • the UK's National Accounts (such as Gross Domestic Product, National Income and Expenditure)
  • the UK Balance of Payments
  • population, demography and migration
  • government output and activity
  • business output and activity
  • prices (such as consumer and producer)
  • the labour market (such as employment, unemployment and earnings)
  • vital events (such as births, marriages, morbidity and deaths)
  • social statistics (for example statistics about neighbourhoods and families)

ONS designs, manages and runs the Census in England and Wales and also works with the devolved administrations in Northern Ireland and Scotland to carry out the decennial Census of Population.


Sam Beckett

Second Permanent Secretary and Deputy Chief Executive

Liz McKeown

Director of Public Policy Analysis

Alison Pritchard

Deputy National Statistician & Director General, Data Capability