official statistics

official statistics

any data collected and published by government departments. Such data have varied reliability and utility Although many of these data can be highly valuable to the sociologist, e.g. those presented in the CENSUS, GENERAL HOUSEHOLD SURVEY and EXPENDITURE SURVEY, major debates exist concerning the limitations of official statistics (e.g. CRIME STATISTICS). The way in which statistics are collected, e.g. as a by-product of the work of administrative agencies, sometimes by a large number of untrained recorders, can lead to major inconsistencies, unreliability and uncertainties about the meaning and worth of data. Also, statistics may possess positive or negative implications for the agencies and individuals that collect them, which can affect what is recorded. Finally statistics are always collected for some purpose, which will usually be different from that of the sociological researcher; above all, they are the result of a process of categorization and the attachment of numbers which involves inherent difficulties of the kind identified particularly by ethnomethodologists (see CICOUREL, 1964). A classic example of the issues that can arise is the debate concerning DURKHEIM's use of Suicide statistics (see Douglas, 1967). see also MEASUREMENT BY FIAT.
References in periodicals archive ?
Stocks of imported frozen beef--already being sold in the UK or likely to become available during the next few months--could be much bigger than most official statistics suggest.
THE STUDENT drinks market in the United States could be more lucrative than official statistics have suggested.
Despite the lack of official statistics, it's clear how much the trade means to the economy of northern Chile, where copper mining and fishing are the dominant industries.
Official statistics claim the gap is 19%, but PayFinder said it was ``incredible'' that the gender pay gap still existed at all.
Today's challenge is indeed steeper than many realize, because more "shadow space" is dragging on the commercial market than official statistics indicate.
Stockholm:National Board of Health and Welfare, Centre for Epidemiology, Official Statistics of Sweden.
This has also been the case in Norway, where the strategy of relying on administrative registers in the production of official statistics have made it possible to construct large-scale linked employer-employee datasets for research purposes.
Though it can take years for official statistics to become available, clearly we are hearing of more heart attacks and deaths among young people who would not previously have been considered at high risk.
Deconstructing official statistics and reports as well as peasant petitions to the land settlement commission, many of which are housed in central Russian archives, Pallot challenges the traditional dichotomy that interpreters of the reforms have drawn to distinguish the separators from the non-separators, i.
These data may underestimate the incidence, as patients treated in private clinics are not fully reported in official statistics.
According to official statistics, Gardai made 1,808 arrests, charged 1,371 people and secured 772 convictions.
According to official statistics, pesticide use in Lompoc went up from 70,000 pounds per year in 1991 to 120,000 pounds in 1998--a symptom of the intensive farming of lettuce, cauliflower, asparagus and other high-yield vegetables.

Full browser ?