Official statistics are statistics published by government agencies or other public bodies such as international organizations. They provide quantitative or qualitative information on all major areas of citizens' lives, such as economic and social development, living conditions, health, education, and the environment.
During the 16th and 17th centuries, statistics were a method for counting and listing populations and State resources. The term statistics comes from the Latin status (state) indicating that the origin of the profession related to the needs of governments. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, official statistics are statistics disseminated by the national statistical system, excepting those that are explicitly not to be official".
Of course, governmental agencies at all levels, including municipal, county, and state administrations, may generate and disseminate official statistics. This broader possibility is accommodated by later definitions. For example:
- "Almost every country in the world has one or more government agencies (usually national institutes) that supply decision-makers and other users including the general public and the research community with a continuing flow of information (...). This bulk of data is usually called official statistics. Official statistics should be objective and easily accessible and produced on a continuing basis so that measurement of change is possible."
Official statistics result from the collection and processing of data into statistical information by a government institution or international organisation. They are then disseminated to help users develop their knowledge about a particular topic or geographical area, make comparisons between countries or understand changes over time. Official statistics make information on economic and social development accessible to the public, allowing the impact of government policies to be assessed, thus improving accountability.
Read more about Official Statistics: Aim, Various Categories, Most Common Indicators Used in Official Statistics, Users, Producers At The National Level, Production Process, Data Revision, Data Sources, Official Statistics Presentation, Release, Quality Criteria To Be Respected, See Also, External Sources
Famous quotes containing the words official and/or statistics:
“All official institutions of language are repeating machines: school, sports, advertising, popular songs, news, all continually repeat the same structure, the same meaning, often the same words: the stereotype is a political fact, the major figure of ideology.”
—Roland Barthes (19151980)
“and Olaf, too
unless statistics lie he was
more brave than me: more blond than you.”
—E.E. (Edward Estlin)