Census data for Poly and Trans households

Zoe O'Connell made this Freedom of Information request to Office for National Statistics

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The request was successful.

Dear Office for National Statistics,

1a) If a household consists of a polygamous relationship, will the data be accepted by the Census system? For example, if P1 and P2 are married or in a civil partnership and P3 indicates they are a partner of both P1 and P2, is this considered a valid response or will the "partner" response be ignored and not entered?

1b) If the data will be accepted and entered into the census computer systems, will it be either reported on or (In summary form) available via an FoI request?

2) If there is an apparent mismatch between the indicated sex and marital status of individuals, how will this be entered into the system and handled? For example, if two individuals indicate sex as female but also indicate they are married, will this be entered into the census system as a marriage or as a same-sex civil partnership?

Yours faithfully,

Zoe O'Connell

Zoe O'Connell left an annotation ()

Dear Office for National Statistics,

I have not received any response to this request. (Not even an acknowledgement) I would be grateful if you could confirm when I can expect a reply by.

Yours faithfully,

Zoe O'Connell

Paul Wearn, Office for National Statistics

Our Reference: FOI01148/O'connell/QE1

Dear Zoe O***Connell
Polygamous marriages are not legally recognised in the UK and therefore
any data received from a questionnaire that appeared to show polygamous
relationship in the manner that you suggest would be read as an error. It
is recognised that the majority of respondents recording themselves as
being in a polygamous relationship in a UK census do so erroneously, for
example, ticking the wrong box for one household member on the
relationships question.
Therefore, the data to be used for statistical purposes would be adjusted
by changing one or more of these relationships, so that each respondent is
in a relationship with no more than one person. This is consistent with
all previous UK censuses, and others around the world.

A copy of the original questionnaire would be retained as part of the
historical record which would show such relationships as they were
recorded. We do not attempt to amend the original record.

Any mismatches between the indicated sex and marital status of respondents
will be resolved using a probabilistic statistical system which will not
necessarily deal with each case in the same way. The system will look at
other responses for each person, including those for the Household
relationships, and will alter one or more variables to make the response
consistent. In the example that you propose, it would either change the
sex of one individual, or change the marital status to "Same-sex civil
partnership", depending on which is considered statistically more likely
to be correct.

You have the right to have this response to your freedom of information
request reviewed internally by an internal review process and, if you
remain unhappy with the decision, by the Information Commissioner. If you
would like to have the decision reviewed please write to Frank Nolan,
Office for National Statistics, Room 1127, Government Buildings, Cardiff
Road, Newport, Gwent, NP10 8XG.

If you have any queries about this email, please contact me. Please
remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

Kind regards,

Paul Wearn LLB (Hons)
Legal Services
Office for National Statistics

For the latest data on the economy and society consult National Statistics
at http://www.ons.gov.uk

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Zoe O'Connell left an annotation ()

Blog Post resulting from this: http://www.complicity.co.uk/blog/2011/05...

Sruli Berger left an annotation ()

Note that Celia Kitzinger and Sue Wilkinson's Canadian marriage was converted by the UK courts to a civil partnership upon their return to the UK.

Sruli Berger left an annotation ()

Sorry, I should have provided a link to further information with that. Incidentally, the Wikipedia page on them is pretty thorough. (:


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