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social statisticsquantitative social data, such as crime statistics, details of marriage and family composition, housing, etc. The acquisition of such data is a fundamental concern in sociology. The term may also be used to refer to the methods used in this acquisition, including the SOCIAL SURVEY, INTERVIEWING, SAMPLING, etc. See also CENSUS, OFFICIAL STATISTICS, QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH TECHNIQUES, QUETELET.
In the broad sense, statistics as a whole is a social science, since it deals with the processes and phenomena of social life. In the narrow sense, social statistics is a branch of statistics that deals with living conditions during concrete historical stages in the development of society. In contrast to economic statistics, which deals with processes and phenomena in economics, social statistics examines the political, ideological, and legal aspects of people’s lives and the standard of living of the population by studying cross-sections of society and population groups.
The system of indexes of social statistics comprehensively characterizes living conditions. These indexes describe the social organization and class structure of society, population and its composition, and means of support and income distribution among various population groups. Other indexes characterize the availability and composition of manpower resources, level of education, culture, public health, and social security, housing, community life, work and leisure, the use of free time, and moral and political atmosphere.
M. R. EIDEL’MAN [24-718-1 ]