What's good about statistics?
  • Good for backing up arguments
  • Add depth to your research
What's not so good about statistics?
  • Lengthy process of data collection and analysis means they are not always up to date
  • May not be collected in the format you require

Where to find them

Statistics are available in:

  • Print format - available in the Reference section on Level 1 at both Polhill Library and Park Square LRC e.g. Annual Abstract of Statistics
  • Electronic format - available via the Library Catalogue, e.g. Monthly Digest of Statistics which is issued by the Government's Office of National Statistics and includes current statistics on everything from population, social services, law and order to agriculture, energy and communications. You could also try British Social Attitudes which gauges public opinions and attitudes on everything from families, the workplace, transport, identity, newspaper readership etc.
  • Web resources:

The following websites will help you to find useful statistics for Applied Social Studies topics.

  • Office for National Statistics - free access to data produced by the Office for National Statistics and some Government Departments.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) - the largest independent social research institute in Britain. The centre carries out research into all areas of social policy including: health, crime, education, employment, social attitudes, travel and families.
  • 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.

Many charities also produce useful statistics e.g. Joseph Rowntree Foundation provides facts and figures on all aspects of poverty, place and empowerment. Check out some relevant charity websites for your subject area.

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