The ONS says it is “confident” about its figures, although some people may have misunderstood the issue of gender identity. (PinkNews/Getty)

Following an investigation, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said it was “confident” about the national figures for the transgender population in the 2021 census, but admitted that some people with lower English skills may not answer the question “as intended “have interpreted”.

In January, the ONS published first-of-its-kind statistics on the number of LGBTQ+ people in England and Wales after including voluntary questions on gender and sexuality in the 2021 census.

The figures showed that around 1.5 million people (3.2 percent) identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual or another sexual orientation, while 262,000 (0.5 percent) said their gender identity did not match gender , which was assigned to them at birth.

Questions were raised about the numbers after the data was published when it emerged that some areas with large ethnic minority groups – where many people speak English as a second language – had higher transgender populations than researchers had expected.

But advocacy groups believed the numbers could be a problem Underreporting because the question about gender identity was voluntary and people who were not present may have been afraid to record their gender identity on an official document.

On Wednesday (November 8), the ONS released a statistical bulletin following an investigation into transgender figures and methodology, saying that while some census results “may be unexpected, this does not necessarily mean they are wrong.” “.

Jen Woolford, ONS director of population statistics, said: “We have confidence in our estimates of gender identity nationally, however there are some patterns in the data that are consistent with some respondents but do not conclusively support them.” [having] interpreted the question as intended, e.g. B. People with lower English skills in some areas.

“Some local authorities may attract transgender people due to established communities, and unexpected patterns may emerge from correlations between variables, such as younger age profiles in some ethnic groups.”

The 2021 census brought some surprising results. (Peter Titmuss/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

In October, Women and Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch told the House of Commons she had ordered an inquiry to determine whether the number of transgender people in England and Wales had been “overestimated” because people did not understand the issue of gender identity would have.

“We have to be very careful with the language, people often don’t understand what we mean when we use terms like ‘transgender’. [and] “Gender identity,” we need to make sure they understand that,” she said.

This follows the Office for Statistical Regulation’s (OSR) publication of an interim assessment of gender identity statistics earlier the same month.

The study’s authors had admitted that “measuring gender identity is undoubtedly challenging” and that the small size of the transgender population “poses challenges for data collection.”

Woolford’s statement goes on to say that the ONS has spoken to stakeholders who use the data and these groups “recognize that there will be greater levels of uncertainty in our gender identity statistics”.

She continued: “We have also released additional information to help them interpret the data in more detail.”

“We have made clear that these should not be used to create alternative estimates of the transgender population.”

It cannot be ignored that some transgender people are “likely among those who chose not to respond to this voluntary question” and therefore it is not possible to “quantify any potential under- or over-estimation of these groups,” continued Woolford continued.

“Any expectations about how the transgender population differs across different population subgroups were based on limited evidence, the very evidence gap that inclusion of this question in the census was intended to fill.

“We will continue to develop these statistics as part of our program to develop population and migration statistics, based on our recent public consultation.”

The ONS findings come days after figures on the number of pansexual people in England and Wales were updated.

A statistical release on Wednesday (Nov 1) revealed corrected figures, revealing that some answers to the sexual orientation question that should have been coded as “all other sexual orientations” were instead classified as “pansexual”.

The update caused the estimated number of pansexual people to fall from 112,400 to 48,000.

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