Advantages Disadvantages
Good for backing up arguments Lengthy process of data collection & analysis means they are not always up-to-date
Add depth to your research May not be collected in the format you require

Where to find statistics

Government Statistics:
  • Office for National Statistics - the official website of the Office for National Statistics which covers England and Wales; as well as UK-wide national statistics. Browse by theme or use the search facility to find statistics.
  • UK National Statistics: Publication Hub - gateway to publications produced by the Office for National Statistics. Browse by theme and watch the box (to the right of the page) for links to full text reports and other related websites with statistics.
Academic Data Services:

The Economic and Social Data Services (ESDS) is a joint service co-hosted by 4 centres of expertise within the universities of Essex and Manchester to support the use of social science data in research and training.

  • ESDS Government - statistics from large scale Government surveys including British Social Attitudes Survey, British Crime Survey, Health Survey for England, Census Programme, English Longuitudinal Study of Ageing, Longuitudinal Study of Young People in England and more.
  • UK Data Archive (UKDA) - based at the University of Essex this is the main repository for quantitative digital research data in the social sciences and humanities.

Many charities often commission research and then make publications, summaries and press releases available on their websites. Search for a relevant charity for your topic or try some of the ones below:

Further Help:
  • Intute: Social Statistics Tutorial - free, interactive tutorial from Intute that shows you some of the best of the web for social statistics and how to search the web effectively.

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