Statistical Journal of the IAOS

Volume 37 (2021) 4:

Special theme Statistics on difficult to measure population groups

The Statistical Journal of the IAOS can be read via the printed version and online via the official statistics website: The website offers beyond the on-line versions of the articles also a discussion platform, news and interviews.

The latest version of the Statistical Journal of the IAOS (SJIAOS)

December 2021, Volume 37, no. 4, Special theme:                                            

Statistics on difficult to measure population groups


This fourth issue of Volume 37 of the Journal contains 25 high quality contributions.

Recent international conferences, especially the ISI WSC in The Hague (July 2021) and the UN WDF in Bern (October 2021) are expected to deliver a substantial number of manuscripts in this and especially in the three first issues in 2022. The first manuscript by Tissot, Rosolia and Stapel-Weber reports from the ISI WSC session on New developments in central bank statistics.

In the following section two articles describe topics related to the Covid-19 pandemic. Ramasamy and Kaliannan apply a survival analysis on the weekly Covid infections in India. The article by Smith and Lorenc argues about the need to develop robust methodologies for the analysis of economic development during downturns like the Covid-19 pandemic. This manuscript was earlier published as a blog on for discussion.

The third section in this issue deals with the Statistics on difficult to measure population groupsThe theme of this issue ‘Statistics on difficult to measure population groups also constituting the base for the 10th discussion, is based on a manuscript by Khanna and Strode that illustrates the very important work of the Expert Group on Refugee and IDP Statistics (EGRIS) working group in producing draft International Recommendations on Statelessness Statistics (IROSS).

The fourth section Population and housing statistics, social statistics contains four rather different articles. Solard, Espinasse, Le Palud, Prévot, and Vanotti, describe in detail the quality of the population estimates produced by the French rolling census. Kastrati and Keilman show in their manuscript titled ‘Culture, tradition, and the registration of deaths: The case of Kosovo’ how the patriarchal culture in traditional parts in Kosovo, explains an unusually high share of male deaths (SMD) among all deaths. El Vilaly, Jones, Tankari, Make and Juran determine and examine internal migration flows in Mauritania to analyze the relationship between long-term rainfall changes and dynamic spatial demographic shifts in terms of movements toward urban centers. In the four article in this section colleagues from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) present a method of filling in the gaps by interpolating annual poverty statistics on state level, particularly the poverty incidence, using macroeconomic indicators and demographic and employment information from the Labor Force Survey (LFS).

The next section contains the four winning manuscripts from the Young Statisticians Price (YSP) 2021. The first prize was awarded to Sirag and Gissler from Statistics Canada for their article ’Excess mortality in Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic: Statistical methods adapted for rapid response in an evolving crisis’. The second prize was awarded to Kloos (Statistics Netherlands) for his manuscript presenting a new generic method to correct misclassification bias for time series and its statistical properties. Goncalves and Hidalgo (IBGE Brazil) were awarded the third prize for their manuscript ‘Model-based unemployment rate estimates for the Brazilian Labour Force Survey’.  And the winners of a special YSP 2021 commendation for a paper from a developing nation Fajar and Nurfalah (Badan Pusat Statistik –Statistics Indonesia)) propose in their manuscript ’Hybrid Fourier Regression-Multilayer Perceptron Neural Network for Forecasting a new forecasting method using hybrid Fourier Regression.

The next section on Quality in statistics reports in a third batch three manuscripts from the 10th European Conference on Quality in Statistics that was originally planned for 9-12 June 2020 to be held in Budapest Hungary, though it was cancelled due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic authors of around 10 papers agreed to prepare their paper as a submission to the Journal. In the next issues more articles planned for this conference will be presented. In the first paper Seljak and Steenvoorden, (Statistics Slovenia) report on the basic methodological fundaments of the project in the Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia (SURS) to develop a new, multipurpose application that enables easier and more effective usage of reference metadata.

Colleagues from statistics Netherlands) discuss in their manuscript how Statistics Netherlands in the context of the innovation process already in place, as well as the innovations in response to the pandemic, could respond rather quickly with a range of new outputs to the sudden increase in the need for statistical information following the outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic. In the third article in this section colleagues from Statistics Spain. describe how INE choose to apply a new revision policy, which may be considered as a compromise between the Partial Concurrent Adjustment: ARIMA Parameters policy and the Partial Concurrent Adjustment: Fixed Model, both implemented in JDemetra+.

The final section deals with 10 manuscripts on a variety of methodology and data topics. Fall’s (Afristat) manuscript ‘Food balance sheets provide information on food security, indicators of the prevalence of undernourishment and losses in the cases of Benin, Guinea and Mali, illustrates how the use of FAO methodologies for calculating the prevalence of undernourishment under SDG 2 and the food loss index under SDG 12 allows to estimate these two indicators using BAs and other related indicators. Colleagues from Norway in ‘Urban Green. Integrating ecosystem extent and condition as a basis for ecosystem accounts. Examples from the Oslo region’, explore SEEA-EA case studies for the Oslo region, combining land use/land cover maps from Statistics Norway with satellite data. The article enhances the knowledge base for assessment of urban ecosystem services within the SEEA EA.

Youssef, Kamel and Mohammed propose in their paper three robust estimators for handling the problem of outlier values in seemingly unrelated regression equations (SURE) models.

The next three manuscripts deal with new data collection methods. Statistics Netherlands investigate reasons for underreporting between survey and via a capture-recapture (CRC) methodology estimated road freight transport data. A second article by colleagues from Statistics Netherlands argue that in theory sensor data could be a valuable new source for official statistics, for example in agricultural statistics, however, have to conclude based on their empirical study, that though this data source may be valuable, there is still time needed to prepare for using it in full and to be ready for the future. A third manuscript on the use of new data sources is ‘Scanner data in inflation measurement: from raw data to price indices’ by Bialek and Beręsewicz present a proposal for the implementation of individual stages of handling scanner data as well as describe potential problems during scanner data processing and their solutions.

David Marker describes in his article ‘Suppression Criteria for Inaccurate Estimates’ that statistical offices regularly have to decide at what level of aggregation to publish results of their data collection.  And colleagues from the Philippines in the article ’Big Data in the Philippines: How Do We Actually Use Them?’ report on ways in which the government of the Philippines can recognize the use of Big Data for official statistics.

Thurow, Dumpert, Ramosaj and Pauly use the German Structure of Earnings data from the Federal Statistical Office of Germany (DESTATIS), to investigate various imputation methods regarding their accuracy and impact on parameter estimates in the analysis phase after imputation.  In the final manuscript in this issue. Lewaa, Hafez and Ali Ismael, summarizes the main elements of Statistical Data Integration (SDI) as tool undertaking research that involves integrating data from multiple sources in order to make the best use out of it.

Two earlier issues that ask for your special attention

The December 2021 issue (Volume 37, Issue 4) is a full open access issue that contains  22 high quality contributions focussing on ‘New Developments in Training in Official Statistics’. It describes the recent trends in the training in official statistics of those producing and those using results of official statistics, with the aim to develop respectively their specific knowledge, skills and competencies and to increase the ‘statistical thinking’.

Full open access is now also granted on The Supplement to Volume 36: Extra issue in 2020 ‘‘Official statistics in Africa. While the 2020 Zambia conference has been delayed, it was decided to go ahead with this extra issue to not lose the momentum of the extra attention on statistics in Africa. This extra issue that now has become full open access due to sponsoring by the UN Economic Commission for Africa, contains around 15 manuscripts from the African region.

The 10th discussion topic‘Statistics on difficult to measure population groups: challenges to leave no-one not-included’.

The 10th discussion will focus on the importance to be in official statistics as inclusive as possible and especially to statistically cover the - often very vulnerable  - population groups that are difficult to measure because of a lack of administrative or register data and/or difficulties in approaching or accessing these groups. Examples of these groups are stateless people, refugees and homeless people. It also includes other population groups, that for a variety of reasons, are not included in vital registrations or other central administrative systems. Such inclusion in official statistics is relevant from the perspective of the Sustainable Development Goals, directed on targets for specific population groups,  but also in the wider context of (the ethics of) covering in official statistics all and especially vulnerable population groups. Measuring such groups requires creatively applying all possible data sources, ranging from administrative records to snowball data collection, to self measurement as well as automatic and geo tracing/observation methodologies to cover them in official statistics.

This 10th discussion is triggered by the manuscript ‘Improving official statistics on stateless people: challenges, solutions, and the road ahead’, by Mary Strode (Independent Consultant to UNHCR) and Melanie Khanna (Former Chief of the Statelessness Section, UNHCR) in Volume 37 (2021).

The discussion statements will concentrate on the need for such statistical information, the challenges in collecting them as well as aspects on confidentiality and protection in data sharing and it will stress the importance of data to be comparable over contexts and time and to use the same definitions, concepts, questions and methodologies. The discussion will also invite comments on the experiences gained and result achieved in developing guidelines for measuring and developing statistics for difficult to measure groups.

Readers are invited to react on individual statements and of course can also choose to react on a combination of these statements, or simple comment on the overall theme.

See the discussion platform on:

The SJIAOS discussion platform invites to contribute to important discussions at a time of own choosing.  With each release of an issue of the Statistical Journal, a new discussion topic is launched via a leading article or based on a section in the Journal. Each discussion runs for a year and is closed with a concluding commentary by the article author(s). In this issue two discussions are formally closed with a closing article.

This 10th discussion will come on line, with specific statements around the 15th of December 2021. See

Several other discussions are still also on line on the SJIAOS Discussion platform  (

The ninth discussion on the SJIAOS discussion platform is based on seven statements on New Developments in Training in Official Statistics’.  Readers are invited to react on individual statements and of course can also choose to react on a combination of these statements, or simple comment on the overall theme.

In the Statistical Journal of the IAOS, Volume 37/3, on ‘New Developments in Training in Official Statistics’ the recent trends in training in official statistics are discussed in 22 manuscripts. The need and rationale for training in official statistics and the necessity to anticipate on the recent developments, the requirements needed for training in Data Science,  a method for assessing the type and content of this demand for training,  an overview of existing training in official statistics initiatives,  general trends in learning and training, and a selection of examples of training in domains of official statistics or in regions.

The eight discussion on the UN Fundamental Principles for Official Statistics: a suitable and current self regulatory instrument or an outdated paper tiger? builds on one hand on the manuscript as published in this issue reporting on complementing the Fundamental Principles with the assessment of their compliance by countries and regions based on a Maturity Model for Continuous Improvement, illustrating the acceptance of this main framework for high quality statistics as a still suitable instrument. On the other hand during the last decennium there where many events, as for example illustrated by the manuscript by Andreas Georgiou in Volume 37/1, where the principles where consciously or unconsciously ignored.

The seventh discussion On Misuse of Statistics, based on the section on Misuse of Statistics in Volume 37 (2021), Nr. 1: Misuse of Statistics; Time to speak out’ aims to centre around comments and contributions around the need for trustworthy information to guide decision making and enable citizens to understand issues that affect their health and livelihoods.

The sixth discussion on the discussion platform: Successes and challenges of regional cooperation and capacity building in Statistics: the example of the Asia-Pacific region centers around innovations and transformations in official statistics production and dissemination. The four statements are based on experiences from Asia-Pacific countries as reflected in the special section on the Asia-Pacific Statistics week in Volume 36 (2020) Nr. 4 :

The fifth discussion on the discussion platform centers around statements taken from Volume 36 (2020, Nr. 3, The Future of economic statistics.  and focuses on the four inter-related and mutually reinforcing building blocks of the emerging new statistical business model for economic statistics: outreach and user consultation; statistical framework;  institutional and statistical operations, and data stewardship; and statistical infrastructure and data solutions.

The fourth discussion on the discussion platform, launched in June 2020, centers around statements taken from the article by Andreas Georgiou and is still open for contributions: ‘Pre-release access to official statistics is not consistent with professional ethics

Vol 36 (2020), Nr. 2 :

Pre-release practice to official statistics varies across and within countries, with pre-release practiced widely: pre-release access by government and pre-release access by the press. In defending their policies and practices countries argue for and against specific pre-release options. Relevant questions in this discussion will be for example if advertised pre-release access by policy makers preclude the possibility of pressure (or the perception thereof) on the independent production of statistics to serve political/policy interests? Is pre-release to government impartial when it gives at least a head start to the party in power relative to its opposition? Does pre-release access by the press adequately protect the level playing field for market participants, and does not lead to profiteering by some? Do the benefits of pre-release outweigh the costs associated with the risks? Is there a need for strengthening the existing movement away from pre-release access and a tightening of the guidelines in codes of practice for official statistics?’

You are invited to contribute to the discussions on:

Some background on the SJIAOS discussion platform

In August 2019 the Statistical Journal of the International Association for Official Statistics (SJIAOS) launched the new on-line  platform for discussion on topics of significant relevance for official statistics ( as part of the SJIAOS website. The discussion platform invites you to contribute to important discussions at a time of your own choosing.

The ISI World Statistics Conference, the IAOS conference and Journals like the Statistical Journal of the IAOS, are the traditional platforms where views on new developments and important issues in Official Statistics are exchanged. However, conferences occur only a few times per year, journal issues are released maybe four times per year and typically only reach  specific interest groups. This new on-line discussion platform of the SJIAOS is an opportunity for anyone working or interested in official statistics, to contribute to topical discussions, at your own convenience.

Every three months there is a new discussion item. With each issue of the SJIAOS, a new discussion topic will be launched via a leading article. Statements from this article will then invite you to post your opinion and arguments. Each discussion will run for a year and be closed with a concluding commentary by the article author(s). When fully up and running (after four journal issues), there will be four different discussions topics open for your contribution at any one time.

The discussion platform can be found on a prominent place on the new SJIAOS website ( Contributions have to be in English, have to be clear and concise, specifically addressing one of the statements and should not exceed 25 lines. When considered useful, references to a longer text (article, paper) can be added as an attachment. Contributors are required to register on the discussion platform. Anonymous contributions are not appreciated.

The SJIAOS discussion platform editor (James Whitworth) moderates the discussions and the quality of the contributions (but of course not on the positions taken), takes decisions on the integrity of the arguments and is available for support when needed.

The Statistical Journal of the IAOS

The flagship of the IAOS is the ‘Statistical Journal of the IAOS’. The Journal is expected to be widely circulated and subscribed to by individuals and institutions in all parts of the world.The journal has four regular issues per year, each with in average around 25 articles focussing on current and emerging issues and challenges related to the management, production and use of official statistics and related public policy matters. The ‘Journal’  is available on-line and via a printed publication and is supported by a website

Beyond the link to the on-line version of the Journal the website provides a permanent platform for news, information on events. A main feature of the website is the discussion platform. This discussion platform facilitates in parallel to and based on articles in the Journal discussions on important topics for official statistics.

Submit a Paper

The success of the Statistical Journal of the IAOS depends upon the contributions of IAOS members and authors. All papers are subject to anonymous review. For a full description of the publication’s editorial aims and scope, and how to submit manuscripts, go to or to IOSPress. For more information on the journal in general, submission, review and revision procedures or specific manuscripts, do not hesitate to contact the Editor in Chief, Pieter Everaers at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Papers are expected to be of wide interest to readers. Such papers may or may not contain strictly original material. All papers are refereed. The journal has an Editor-in-Chief who is responsible for ensuring its content and quality.  For the review process he is supported by an editorial board of circa 30 eminent official statisticians and for the strategy of the Journal by a small Advisory Board The journal should publish papers of wide interest to both users and producers of official statistics. The journal should encourage papers with a focus on the basic principles for official statistics covering areas such as the importance of applying the best scientific methods, the need for statistical independence, balancing the needs of users with the burden on respondents, the continuing challenges around confidentiality, and the growing need for consistency and coherence across statistical domains and over time and for international comparability

SJIAOS Access for IAOS Members

IAOS members have unlimited on-line access to all the articles in the SJIAOS, including previous issues. Staff from International Organizations that are institutional members of the ISI/IAOS can be a member of IAOS and have free access to the Journal for an annual fee of 10 Euro.

Members are asked to register themselves at IOS Press (go to the register tab) and once done, to send an email to Ms. Kim Willems (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). She will activate your complimentary access upon receiving your email.

For more information contact Margaret de Ruiter-Molloy at the ISI membership office at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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