Statistics >> Meaning of statistics
The word 'Statistics' is used in two senses-Plural and Singular. In its plural form it refers to the statistical data collected in a systematic manner with some definite aim or object in view. In singular form, it means statistical methods or the subject itself It includes the methods and principles concerned with collection, analysis and interpretation of numerical data.
Definitions of statistics
Different authors have given different definitions of Statistics in two different senses viz. plural and singular. Some of the definitions are given below.
Statistics, in plural sense
1. "Statistics are numerical statement of facts in any department of enquiry placed in relation to each other"-A.L. Bowley.
2. "Statistics are the classified facts representing the conditions of the people in a state ... specially those facts which can be stated in numbers or in tables of numbers or in any tabular or classified arrangement. "-Webster.
3. "By statistics we mean aggregate of facts affected to a marked extent by multiplicity of causes, numerically expressed, enumerated or estimated according to a reasonable standards of accuracy, collected in a systematic manner for a predetermined purpose and placed in relation to each other."Horace Secrist.
In plural sense Horace Secrist's definition seems to be the most exhaustive.
Statistics in singular sense
In singular sense, different authors have defined Statistics differently.
1. "Statistics may be called the science of counting."-A.L. Bowley.
2. "Statistics may rightly be called the science of averages."-A.L. Bowley.
3. "Statistics is the science of measurement of social organism, regarded as a whole in its manifestations"-A.L. Bowley.
4. "Statistics may be defined as the science of collection, presentation, analysis and interpretation of numerical data."-Croxton and Cowden.
5. "Statistics may be regarded as a body of methods for making wise decisions in the face of uncertainity"-Wallis and Roberts.
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