Official Statistics – Theory and Methods

Lesson objectiveTo explore official statistics
Lesson outcomes• When and how to use them
• Their usefulness
• What official statistics are

For your introduction, you need to always mention:


What, who, why


Official statistics are usually produced by organisations and governments and can be isolated or longitudinal by nature.

Who and Why

Positivists tend to use official statistics because of high generalisability. 


Studies you need to refer to:

​DURKHEIM (1987) used the comparative method to explore suicide rates of different cultures. He felt a more scientific approach would support his hypothesis more as he predicted that the more integrated an individual was in society, the less likely there were to attempt suicide.THE CRIME SURVEY OF ENGLAND AND WALES. This is a systematic sample of 50,000 people producing crime statistics from victims. Because of the large sample size, positivists state it allows greater analysis and produces higher generalisability.

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