According to means ‘as reported by’ or ‘as stated by’ and refers to an opinion which is not the speaker’s opinion. According to usually occurs in front position. It is commonly followed by a noun phrase and sometimes by a clause:
According to Jeff, the film starts at 7.30.
According to the instructions, you’ll need to buy some glue.
The government, according to a poll taken last month, may lose the next election.
We often use according to in formal contexts to refer to official evidence such as statistics or reports:
According to a recent report by the Department of Health, most people still do not take enough exercise.
According to also means ‘depending on’ or ‘in agreement with’:
They take a test and are then put in to groups according to their ability.
The rents are high but they vary according to whether you want a garden.
We only use according to when we refer to an opinion from someone else or somewhere else. When we talk about our opinion, we use phrases such as ‘in my opinion’ or ‘in our view’: