Statistics at Defra

We publish national and official statistics relating to the environment, rural communities, food, farming and biosecurity.

Our purpose

Defra, in partnership with its arms’ length bodies, publish a broad range of statistics and data on the environment, food, farming and biosecurity and marine. We see our statistics as a valuable public asset. Through them we seek to provide a window on the world across the areas covered by Defra’s policy and delivery remits and to inform the judgements and decisions made by the public, by organisations and by government.

Our portfolio

Defra Group publish regular and ad hoc statistics which provide accurate and impartial information across four main themes. Browse our main portfolios:

  1. Environment
  2. Food, Farming and BioSecurity
  3. Marine
  4. Rural communities

Our latest and upcoming publications

A separate calendar of release dates across the group for the year ahead, providing a split by month, is available Defra statistics release calendar, annual and monthly (ODS, 74.2KB) .

Our standards

We publish our national and official statistics guided by the UK Statistics Authority’s Code of Practice for Statistics.
Many of these are National Statistics, identified by the round ‘tick’ logo with the words, ‘national statistics’, which are subject to assessment by the UK Statistics Authority. Reports of all assessments are published on the Authority’s website.

How we meet the standards of the Code

The arrangements we have in place to ensure we comply with the Code are set out in the documents below:

Pre-release access to official statistics

We publish details of how we comply with the Pre-release Access to Official Statistics Order 2008 and a list of the roles of those currently granted pre-release access to our key official statistics.

Pre-release access compliance (PDF, 349KB, 6 pages)

List of statistics with pre-release access (ODS, 17.1KB)

Developing our portfolios

Defra and Defra Group more broadly has a wide portfolio of statistics and our commitment is to the continued development of that portfolio. Informed by the new UK Code of Practice for Statistics, much of our focus is on understanding of external user needs. We are building a range of approaches for this – including direct engagement (e.g. via the @DefraStats Twitter account) and through enhanced web analytics. We will continue to evolve in response to feedback by looking at accessibility of formats and continue to look for opportunities to increase value. Looking further forward, we will continue to assess the opportunities provided by new technologies such as e-DNA and Earth observation.

Within each of our areas of interest, we will look to find the best long term balance between:

  • Overall portfolio summary products such as the compendium of food and farming statistics.
  • Continued production of regular individual official statistical releases on specific topics.
  • Production of simpler more data focused releases (where user insight tells us that the external interest is in the numbers rather than the commentary).

Where we see the potential value of new official statistics products or developing exisiting products, we will look to use the mechanisms in the new Code - specifically by introducing new experimental statistics or by using the new voluntary compliance approach.

User engagement

Defra engages with users of our statistics on an ongoing basis to help us understand more about how our statistics are used and the decisions they inform. Our User Engagement Strategy sets out how we aim to enhance our relationship with our customers and use feedback to develop and improve our statistics portfolio.

User Engagement Policy Statement version 2 - published March 2019 (PDF, 287KB, 3 pages)


We always welcome feedback. You can use our Twitter account @DefraStats. Alternatively, there are mailboxes for individual topic areas provided in the How to contact us section below. If you have a query about a specific publications, please use the contact details provided with the publication itself.

How to contact us

General enquiries

Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs
Nobel House
17 Smith Square

Defra helpline: 03459 33 55 77 (open Mon to Fri: 8am - 6pm)

Environment statistics
Farming statistics
Food statistics
Rural statistics
Price statistics
Survey control