New question on sexual identity to be asked on ONS surveys

ONS has acted on a recommendation from the 2007 ONS-led review of equality data by introducing a new survey question on sexual identity.

The Office for National Statistics has announced it will start to ask a question about sexual orientation on surveys from next year. From January all major ONS surveys of people over 16, such as the labour force survey and the integrated household survey (IHS) will ask if they are straight, gay/lesbian, bisexual or other.Karen Dunnell, the head of the ONS, said “Better measurement of equality is essential, if we are properly to analyse, understand and address inequalities in society. The new survey question has been carefully designed through a programme of testing and consultation. Testing has shown that the vast majority of people are willing and able to answer the question.” From January all major ONS surveys of people over 16, such as the labour force survey and the integrated household survey (IHS) will ask if they are straight, gay/lesbian, bisexual or other. However, the decision to include a question on sexual orientation is not an indication that a similar question will be added to the 2011 Census. For questions on ONS surveys are voluntary, whereas the content of the Census must be approved by Parliament and it is compulsory to fill it out.

I have attached weblinks below.

News Release from ONS

Background to the study

ONS position on including such a question in the census

A much wider ONS-led review of equality data took place from June to September 2007 which may also be of interest:

Equality Review – A Summary