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What is a release?

A release is a publication, or set of publications published as a package, containing statistics on a particular subject. A release is often part of a series, with new editions published on a regular basis – weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually. A release will therefore often contain the very latest statistics on a subject. 

The date when a new statistical release is to be published is announced in advance using the ‘release calendar’.

What is a release page?

Each release has its own web page created for each new edition in the series. This page provides information about that edition (for example March 2012, April 2012, May 2012), and link to all the publications that make up that release package.

For example the Consumer Price Indices ‘release’ will consist of a number of different publications including a Statistical bulletin, reference tables and a dataset.

Can I see more information about each search result?

Image showing show/hide detail option on ONS search page
Additional information about each of the search results can be seen by clicking the ‘show detail’ link above the search results.

To go back to the default search results, click ‘hide detail’.



Why are the results different if I launch my search from the Data, Publications or Theme pages?

Image showing default filter display on search page
Some search pages automatically apply filters based on your location on the ONS website. This will lead to different search results being displayed.

If this is the case a ‘Results limited to’ section will display at the top of the result filters, showing you what filters have been automatically applied. To search without filters, use the main site search in the banner.



Narrowing down your search results

On the right of the screen are a set of filters which can be used to further refine search results:

  • Type:  so you can select the output type (for example 'datasets' or ‘releases’)

  • Release date: so you can select how recent the content is (for example ‘last 12 months’)

  • Coverage: so you can select the area to which the output applies (for example ‘UK’)

  • Geographic breakdown: so can select which geographical areas the output is available at (for example ‘region’)

Are there any ‘advanced searches’ that can help me?

There are a number of advanced ways to search. Please note that all search queries in this section are surrounded with square brackets [], these should not be included in your search.

Using multiple words

By default the search results returned are where all terms entered exist anywhere in the page or document, this can also be achieved using the AND instruction. For example the results from [statistics office] contain documents where both ‘statistics’ and‘office’ appear. The query [statistics office] is identical to [statistics AND office].

The instruction OR can be used to search for either word. For example [statistics OR office] will return documents which contain ‘statistics’ or ‘office’. If you wish to exclude a term from a search result, NOT can be used. The query [statistics NOT office] will return documents which contain ‘statistics’ but not ‘office’.

Note: the instruction (AND, OR, NOT) must be in capitals.


The * wildcard can be used as a wildcard on the end of a search word to enable the search to look for anything beginning with those letters. For example if you type [stat] it will return results that contain the word ‘stat’, but if you type [stat*] you will also get results that begin with ‘stat’, for example ‘statistician’, ‘statistics’ and ‘statistical’.

You can also use ? which represents a single character so [statistics] is the same search query as [stati?tics].

Note: a wildcard cannot be the first character in a query.

Exact phrases

You can search with your text in double quotation marks and this will look for items that match that phrase exactly. Please note that this may not be in the title, and could be anywhere in the page.

For example [“Labour Market Statistics”] will search for that exact text, rather than pages that contain all the words individually.

Can I link to a set of ONS search results from my own site?

Yes, we are happy for you to link to our results. Simply copy the URL from the address bar and use it as your link.

Content from the Office for National Statistics.
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