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Public confidence in official statistics

High street scene
Researchers: Ian Simpson
Published: February 2017

Levels of trust in ONS remains high, having not changed significantly since 2014.

Aim

We conduct this research to measure how public trust in official statistics has changed over time and identify possible causes.

You can download the latest report, 'Public confidence in official statistics - 2016', published in February 2017. An accompanying technical report is also available to download.

The 2015 report is available to download, along with the appendices.

We also conducted this study in 2009, and the report is available here.

Findings

Levels of trust in ONS and the statistics it produces remain high, having not changed significantly since 2014.

  • In 2016, of those able to give an opinion, 90% trust ONS and 85% trust the
    statistics produced by ONS.

  • In 2014, of those able to give an opinion, 88% trusted ONS and 81% trusted theĀ statistics produced by ONS.

There has been a modest increase in agreement that official figures are generally accurate.

  • Of those able to give an opinion, 78% agree that official figures are accurate,
    compared with 73% in 2014.

There has been no improvement to the low numbers of people who think that Government and newspapers present official figures honestly.

  • Of those able to give an opinion, 26% agree that Government presents official figures honestly.
  • Of those able to give an opinion, 18% agree that newspapers present official figures honestly.

Methodology

These questions were asked as part of a module on the BSA 2016 survey.