official statistics

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.

Practical advantages

  • 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

practical disadvantages

  • 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. 


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