Cultural Statistics

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Statistics, Cultural


the branch of social statistics that studies the phenomena and processes characterizing the cultural level of a nation’s life.

Depending on the subject matter and the type of statistical observation most suited to it, cultural statistics is divided into nine sections; (1) school statistics, dealing with general schools of all types, including daytime primary, eight-year, and secondary schools, schools for working young people, and schools for mentally or physically handicapped children; (2) statistics on preschool institutions and institutions for extracurricular education, encompassing the system of kindergartens and nurseries, various types of children’s homes, stations for young technicians and naturalists, palaces and houses of Pioneers, children’s sports schools, parks and stadiums, summer playgrounds for school children, and music and art schools; (3) statistics on the training of specialists, studying the development of higher and secondary specialized education, the existence of educational institutions and their placement in the country, the number and composition of students (both full-time and those continuing to hold jobs), and number of specialists graduated in different fields; (4) statistics on the training of scientific cadres, which studies the graduate study system in the country, the number and composition of graduate students, the results of dissertation defenses, and various other questions pertaining to the training of scientific cadres in different fields of knowledge; (5) statistics on scientific institutions and workers, dealing with the condition and development of scientific research institutions and with the number and qualitative composition of their employees; (6) statistics on cultural-educational institutions, reflecting the work of clubs, public libraries, people’s universities, and museums; (7) statistics on the arts, bringing together statistics on motion pictures and theaters (including amateur groups), artistic collectives, and television and radio broadcasting; (8) press statistics, in which the main indicator is the publication of books, magazines, newspapers, and other printed matter; and (9) statistics on literacy and the educational level, based on data from population censuses.

In prerevolutionary Russia, cultural statistics was essentially limited to school statistics and one-time surveys of public education. Some zemstvo organizations conducted regular school surveys. In the USSR cultural statistics has developed extensively, as reflected in the statistical handbook The National Economy of the USSR and such special collections as Cultural Development in the USSR and Public Education, Science, and Culture of the USSR. The primary source of information for cultural statistics is current and annual reporting. Some indicators are determined on the basis of special censuses and surveys made by state statistical agencies.

In the capitalist countries, cultural statistics deals with a small number of questions and is limited primarily to surveys of school education. Statistics on other fields of culture and art are not gathered systematically in all countries. The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has established some general rules for compiling educational statistics. It has published statistical abstracts on the education, films, radio, and press of various countries, but many types of mass cultural-educational work are not reflected in these publications.


Bogdanov, I. M. Statistika kul’tury. Moscow, 1950.
Ezhov, A. I. Organizatsiia gosudarstvennoi statistiki v SSSR. Moscow, 1957. Pages 115–18.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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