# MEANING OF STATISTICS

We have come across the statistics all the time for instance,

- the inflation rate has gone up 20% since last year.

- the crime rate has reduced by 5% thane that of last year.

All the above statements are statistical conclusions. These statistical statements are very convenient

type of communication to understand the readers and also helps in formulating specific policies

pertaining to that area. The word ‘statistics’ has been used in a variety of ways. Sometimes it is used in

the plural sense to refer to numerical statements of facts or data. On the other hand it is also used in the

singular sense to refer to a subject of study like any other subject such as mathematics, economics, etc.

For instance, when we refer to a few ‘statistics’ relating ‘to our country like – there are 932 females per

1,000 males in India, the per capita national product at current prices has increased from Rs. 246 in

1950-51to Rs. 2,596 in 1985-86 here we are using the word statistics in the plural sense (meaning

data). To prepare these numerical statements, one must be familiar with those methods and techniques

which are used in data collection, organisation, presentation, analysis and interpretations. A study of

these methods and techniques is the science of statistics. The use of the word statistics here is in the

singular sense. In this sense the word statistics means statistical methods or the science of statistics.

Now let us study in detail about these two approaches.