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Cass Professor gives evidence to House of Commons

Les Mayhew invited by the Science and Technology Committee

Yesterday Professor Les Mayhew gave evidence to the Science and Technology Committee at the House of Commons. 

In July 2010 the Government announced that the census, the official population count carried out by Government every 10 years, would be axed after 2011. The Science and Technology Committee are conducting a short inquiry looking at the impact of ending the Census on social science research. 

Professor Mayhew's recently published research, co-authored with Gill Harper, a former ESRC research fellow at Cass, proposes a new method for counting populations using locally available administrative records such as the GP register, council tax records, and school pupil records.

Professor Mayhew says: "Our method has been developed over 10 years and implemented in numerous local authorities especially in London. We have just completed an administrative count of the six Olympic Boroughs at a household level by age, sex and ethnicity. The results were available within six months, up to two years in advance of equivalent results from the 2011 Census and at a fraction of the cost. The ending of the Census and switching to administrative data combined with small scale surveys will usher in a new era for social science research."

Professor Mayhew is a Professor of Statistics at Cass. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health and Honorary Fellow of the Institute for Actuaries and a former senior civil servant. 

Also on the evidence panel were Professor David Blane, Deputy Director, the Economic and Research Council International Centre for Life Course Studies, and Professor Heather Joshi, President, Society for Lifecourse and Longitudinal Studies.

Using Administrative Data to Count Local Populations.

Applications of Population Counts Based on Administrative Data at Local Level

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