Socio Innit

In: Social Issues

Submitted By piggeh
Words 993
Pages 4
Official statistics are quantitative data gathered by the Government or other official bodies. Examples include statistics on births, deaths, marriages and divorces, exam results, schools exclusions, crime rate, suicide, unemployment, and health. The ten-yearly census of the whole UK population is a major source of official statistics. The Government collects official statistics to use in policy-making. For example, statistics are used on births to determine how many schools will be needed for the future. Correspondingly, the Department for Children’s Schools and Families (DCSF) and Ofsted use statistics to monitor the effectiveness of schools and colleges.
There are two ways of collecting official statistics:
Registration – for example, the law requires parents to register birth.
Official surveys, such as Census or General Household Survey.
In addition to official statistics produced by the government, organisations and groups such as trade unions, businesses, and churches also produce a varied amount of statistics.
Sociologists may use official statistics when conduction their research because official statistics offer several practical advantages.
They area free source of huge amounts of quantitative data. Only the state can afford to conduct large-scale surveys costing millions of pounds, such as the ten-yearly Census covering every house within the UK.
Sociologists can make use of this data, saving them both time and money.
Statistics allow comparisons between groups. For example, we can compare statistics on educational achievement, crime rates, or life expectancy between class, gender or ethnic groups.
Because official statistics are collected at regular intervals, they show trends and patterns over time. This means the sociologist can use them for “before and after” studies to show cause-and-effect relationships. For example we can compare divorce…...

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