These are produced by the government and other bodies and are a large sauce of quantitative secondary data.
One of the fundamental disadvantages of official statistics is that they are collected bu people who are not sociologists.
- only the state has the money and power to get such a wide array of information
- allow us to make comparisons between groups
- show trends and patterns over time
- they may not be available on the topic we are interested in or not specific enough
- defenitions used by the state may be different to sociologists
- if the defenition changes it makes it harder to compare things over time
They take it for granted that official statistics are reliable. objective social facts. They are a key part of scientific study. As they are so broad and plentiful then they can be used to discover a corelation with which you can form a hypothesis.