official statistics

  • Created by: Shadow
  • Created on: 11-01-21 11:16

Official statistics

Official statistics are quantitative data gathered by the government or other official bodies. Examples include statistics on births, deaths, marriages, and divorces, exam results, school exclusions, crime, suicide, unemployment, and health.

The government collects official statistics to use in policy-making. 

Both advantages and disadvantages of official statistics are largely from the fact that they are secondary data. They are not collected by sociologists but by official agencies for their own particular purposes- which may not always be the same as those of the sociologist.

Statistics and science

Postivist sociologists see official statistics as scientific because they are often the product of well-planned and organized surveys such as the census.

The problem of social construction

Interpretivists critical of some official statistics, such as for crime and suicide, because they believe they are socially constructed- the statistics tell us


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