The Regional Statistics Unit was established on 1 July 2014, reporting to the Director General, with a specific mandate on regional and district level statistics. All functions were performed from a newly dedicated office located in Victoria, Gozo.
A capacity building programme was initiated to identify, develop and strengthen internal and external channels with respect to data collection, statistical data processing and utilisation. Specific attention was directed towards the use of small area estimation techniques and the compilation of regional statistics in the context of current challenges and potential opportunities.
The functions of the Unit were tailored according to its priorities and capacity. The focus was set on nine specific themes grouped under four branches, each assigned to a specific statistician. The branches comprise of, Education and Labour Market Statistics, Population, Culture and Environment Statistics, Regional GDP and Business Demography Statistics, Tourism and Transport Statistics.
In addition, while the Unit is evaluating the various data sources currently in use, it is also exploring new and improved methods that enable better utilisation of the data, both at regional and district levels. Specific attention is being dedicated to this aspect to improve the fitness of data and ensure value maximisation of current data burden and statistical obligations.
The Unit is working on a system of regional data registers mainly based on administrative records, aimed at supporting the compilation of key statistics and indicators relevant at NUTS 3 (regional), LAU 1 (district) and LAU 2 (locality) levels. The rationale is to develop a robust statistical architecture that could facilitate both longitudinal and cross-sectional analysis. This is intended to enable interested stakeholders analyse the absolute and relative developments prevailing in the different subjects across territorial levels.