Equalities data audit, final report

Publication type

Research Paper


ONS Working Paper Series


  1. -

Publication date

October 15, 2018


In late 2017, Office for National Statistics (ONS) began an audit of data sources and publications that are available to understand equalities in the UK today including outcomes for all nine of the protected characteristic groups covered by the Equality Act 2010 1. This was the first step in developing a Centre for Equalities and Inclusion. The aim of the Centre is to work with others to ensure that the right data are available to address the main social and policy questions about fairness and equity in society, relevant analyses are taken forward and the best methods are in use.

In the last decade, we’ve seen an increasing demand for robust data to monitor equalities, driven by a range of developments.

This report presents the findings from the audit on the state of the existing evidence on the protected characteristics. It describes how we carried out the audit and work we undertook to refine its content. It then summarises some of the more general findings before going on to look at each of the protected characteristics in turn. These sections define the characteristic, describe any relevant harmonised principles2 and then go on to summarise what the audit has shown in terms of the coverage and quality of the data. We then go on to identify the issues we have identified with the existing evidence base, including any known data gaps. In the final section we describe our future plans to build on what the audit has shown us.






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