Budget Statistics

Budget Statistics


a component part of statistics on the standard of living of the population, characterizing the level and sources of family income, expenditures by purpose, provision of housing and cultural and domestic articles to the family, composition of the family, employment and education of its members, and so on. Budget statistics reveal the extent to which the material and nonmaterial needs of the family are satisfied and show the dependence of consumption on level of income, composition of the family, and other socioeconomic factors. The sources of statistical information on the standard of living of the population for the USSR as a whole and by class composition (industrial, office, and professional workers and kolkhoz members) are state reports and censuses. Budget statistics are the source of differentiated information about the standard of living of different social groups of the population. The task of budget statistics is to collect, develop, and analyze data on the standard of living of industrial workers, clerical and professional workers, engineering-technical personnel, kolkhoz members, sovkhoz workers, and others. Sufficiently complete and valid statistical information on the standard of living is obtained as a result of sample surveys of family budgets.

Analyzing statistical information on family budgets reveals the laws of consumption, which are taken into account in planning the development of the national economy and raising the well-being of all strata of the population. Data from budget statistics are also used in computing the national income of the country and its distribution by population groups, in calculating the real incomes of the toiling masses, in drawing up balances of labor resources and balances of agricultural products, and in other economic calculations. In the USSR, budget statistics make use of the sampling method. For analyzing information on family budgets and disclosing the laws of rise in the standard of living, the following are used: the method of grouping families by socioeconomic features (social group of the population, administrative region of the country, income per family and per family member, wages of the head of the family, size and composition of the family in terms of number of employed persons and number of dependents, the proportion of different sources in family income, and others); average magnitudes and indexes; and also the theory of probability and mathematical statistics (correlation computation, dispersion analysis, and so on). A major contribution to developing the theory and practice of budget statistics was made during the 19th and 20th centuries by domestic scientists such as D. P. Zhuravskii, P. P. Semenov-Tian-Shanskii, F. A. Shcherbina, A. M. Stopani, S. G. Strumilin, V. S. Nemchinov, and others.

Budget statistics in the capitalist countries, being at the service of the ruling class, sharply exaggerate the incomes of the toiling masses and understate the incomes of the entrepreneurs. They use methods of collecting statistical information on family budgets (a more prosperous group of the population is selected for surveying) and data-processing procedures (computing groundless averages for groups of families that belong to socially diverse groups of the population) that are not strictly scientific. Bourgeois statisticians attempt to prove a change in the nature of capitalism and draw conclusions concerning a nonexistent “leveling out of personal incomes.”

Data from official budget statistics in the capitalist countries usually give a biased picture of change in the well-being of the toiling masses. The indexes computed by bourgeois statisticians on the basis of budget survey data are frequently refuted by calculations made by progressive trade unions and other organizations. For example, according to the calculations of the Ministry of Labor of Great Britain, which were based on budget survey information, the cost of living index in the country in 1968 was 278 (with 1938 as 100), whereas according to the calculations of the London and Cambridge Economic Service it was 364 (that is, 86 percent higher), although even the latter index by no means precisely characterizes the true drop in the standard of living of the working people in the country, which has occurred as a result of numerous increases in the prices of consumer goods.

Budget statistics in the USSR testify to the systematic growth in the material and cultural level of all social groups of the population. Between 1940 and 1968 the national income produced by the country increased 7.5 times, with three-fourths of it being directed to working-population consumption. Real per capita incomes increased about 3.6 times during this period. To a significant degree this growth was ensured by expanding public consumption funds. Payments and benefits from these funds make up more than 30 percent of the family budget of the industrial, office, and professional workers. The growth in personal incomes makes it possible to increase family expenditures for consumer goods systematically. According to Soviet budget statistics, the expenditures for the purchases of goods in 1969 (using 1940 as a base) by industrial workers and kolkhoz members had increased (respectively) 5 and 6.3 times for clothing; 8.9 and 9.7 times for furniture and household goods; 20.3 and 27.8 times for motorcycles and bicycles; 3 and 2.2 times for meat products; 2.6 and 6 times for fish products; 3.1 and 1.8 times for milk and dairy products; and 3.4 and 3.6 times for eggs. At the same time the consumption of grain products in 1969 had decreased, respectively, 33 percent and 14 percent below the 1940 level. Expenditures for housing and municipal services do not exceed 4 percent of total expenditure in the budget of the family of an urban resident.


Kurs ekonomicheskoi statistiki, 4th ed. Edited by A. I. Petrov. Moscow, 1956.
Obshchaia teoriia statistiki, 2nd ed., revised. Edited by T. I. Kozlov. Moscow, 1967.
Strumilin, S. G. Statistiko-ekonomicheskie ocherki. Moscow, 1958.
Matiukha, I. Ia. Statistika biudzhetov naseleniia. Moscow, 1967.


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