Official statistics come in many shapes and forms. Economic statistics are generally governed by the System of National Accounts (2008), whilst many social statistics are governed by separate manuals and guidance. As we move into a period where migration is increasingly important, alongside other population and demographic trends such as aging and urbanisation, the need to ensure national accounts and other economic measures reflect a modern understanding of these concepts is increasingly vital to ensure statistics remain relevant and reflect society as it is.
The proposal to include labour accounts in the System of National Accounts from 2025 (UN, 2021) provides the opportunity for the economic statistics community to reflect not just on how to best take account of migration in economic data, but also to consider whether economic statistics has a voice which needs to be heard whilst the social statistics community discusses the definition of migration. In particular, is there merit in considering a wider alignment of definitions across both economic measures of labour and social measures of population?