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Official Statistics

The Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 defines 'official statistics' as all those statistical outputs produced by the UK Statistics Authority's executive office (the Office for National Statistics) by central government departments and agencies, by the devolved administrations in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and by other Crown bodies.

The Act also allows Ministers to determine, through secondary legislation, which non-Crown bodies produce official statistics so that they, too, can be subject to scrutiny and assessment by the Statistics Authority, and be eligible for assessment as 'National Statistics'. This provision is designed to ensure a broad definition of official statistics, as well as flexibility so that the scope of official statistics can be adapted over time to suit changing circumstances.


National Statistics

'National Statistics' are a subset of official statistics which have been certified by the UK Statistics Authority as fully compliant with its Code of Practice for Statistics

Accredited 'National Statistics' are identified by the following quality mark.



UK Biodiversity Indicators compendium publication

UK Biodiversity Indicators is a Defra National Statistics compendium. The designation does not mean that all the individual statistics presented are National Statistics in their own right. Rather, it means that the compilation and publication has been assessed by the UK Statistics Authority as compliant with the Code of Practice.

These statistics last underwent a full assessment against the Code of Practice for Statistics in 2012. See Assessment Report 173 Statistics on Sustainability and the Environment in England and the UK. Since that assessment by the Office for Statistics Regulation, Defra and JNCC have continued to comply with the Code of Practice for Statistics.

The following individual statistics presented in the publication are National Statistics:

Although all other statistics in this compendium are not individually designated as National Statistics, they are Official Statistics, and as such have been produced in line with the Code of Practice. They are subject to rigorous quality assurance by the data owners and general quality assurance by Defra and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee. The presentation of the statistics, the commentary, and the traffic light assessments have been overseen and quality assured by Defra Statisticians.


Experimental Statistics

‘Experimental statistics’ are a subset of newly developed or innovative official statistics undergoing evaluation. They are developed under the guidance of the Head of Profession for Statistics and are published in order to involve users and stakeholders in the assessment of their suitability and quality at an early stage. Further information can be found in the ‘Guide to Experimental Statistics’. If you have feedback on any of our experimental statistics in the UK Biodiversity Indicators, please email us at


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