moral statisticssocial data collected, e.g. in France in the 19th-century (preceding the development of sociology as a discipline), and seen to be indicative of social pathology, such as suicide, crime, illegitimacy and divorce. The concern for the collection of social data influenced social reformers in Britain, notably Edwin Chadwick (1800-90). See also SOCIAL ADMINISTRATION, SOCIAL REFORM, OFFICIAL STATISTICS.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000