A consequence of population ageing is an increased need for demographic information on the older population. This presents new challenges for data collection. This article analyses several key aspects of data collection on older people, including survey design and questions. It also critically examines the current range of UK and international sources for data on older people. Specifi cally, it addresses the under-representation of the following groups in some UK statistical sources: 1) older people in institutions, 2) the oldest old and 3) older people from ethnic minorities.