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Social Statistics and DemographyPart of Economic, Social & Political Science

Endorsed for our research

Our central goal is ‘the pursuit of excellence in research which makes a difference.’

The University of Southampton has been consistently ranked in the top tier of prestigious units carrying out research in Social Policy, for example joint 4th in the UK in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF). Research in mathematics, to which our Department also contributes, was ranked 12th nationally in the 2021 REF. According to the QS World University Rankings, Statistics and Operational Research at the University of Southampton was recently globally ranked 34th.

Members of the Social Statistics and Demography department make a significant contribution to the wider research community through their involvement with UK and international funding bodies and advisory members of government committees. We sit on leading Scientific and Advisory Boards, for example Understanding Society and the National Cohort Studies (UK), the executive board of the European Statistical Advisory Committee (EU), the Research Institute for Official and Survey Statistics (Germany), Advisory Committee on Statistical Methods (Italy) and the Advisory Panel on Consumer Prices (UK).

Our statisticians and demographers regularly work with the Office for National Statistics on research such as consumer price index methods, population size estimation (particularly in the population census), quality of administrative data, and discontinuity estimation for surveys. We also advise ONS on national population projections, and fertility, mortality and migration estimates. Several staff are members of the ONS National Population Projections Expert Advisory Group. 

Our global health colleagues advise key non-governmental organisations and national governments to create policy-relevant research and support the translation of new evidence into practice. We work closely with a number of UN bodies including WHO and UNFP, for example, we are members of the Adolescent Working Group of the UN Director’s “Every Woman, Every Child, Every Adolescent strategy.”

Over the past decades, we have had great success securing research funding, for example from the Economic and Social Research Council, the Medical Research Council, the European Research Council, European Union Horizon 2020, and the Wellcome Trust.

We lead major international and national initiatives. We direct the ESRC-National Centre for Research Methods, which delivers a comprehensive programme of research methods training across the UK, and the ESRC-Centre for Population Change, a leading UK interdisciplinary research partnership in demography and population studies. Our department also leads the Horizon 2020-funded project QuantMig, a consortium of international universities addressing the key challenges of migration.

Finally, we contribute to the demographic and statistical research community by sitting on funding panels such as the ESRC GAP and the European Research Council grant panel. We are on editorial boards of leading journals (e.g. Demographic Research, European Journal of Population, Journal of Survey Statistics and Methodology, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society A, B, and C). And we review for countless journals in disciplines such as Epidemiology, Sociology, Health, and Mathematics, thus demonstrating the interdisciplinary nature of our department.

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