Official Statistics


Official statistics are probably the most widely used secondary source in sociological research. They are most likely to be used by positivists, the approach to reseaarch that prefers quantitative data. The advantages of using official statistics include:

  • Availability. Governments and other public bodies collect and publish vast amounts of freely available data about the population and events within society. The Census in the UK is the single biggest example, every 10 years there is a survey that goes beyond a head count to collect information about family and household structure, housing quality, education and health. So much for information is collected that the official publication…


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