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Newspapers & statistics: Statistics & data

bundled newspaper stack

Tips for locating sources

There are many freely available sources of statistics on just about every indicator imaginable.

Have a think about the statistics you need and identify which authoritative organisations might collect that type of data and make it available to the public.

  • Governments - local, state and federal
  • State and national not for profit organisations, e.g. Cancer Council Victoria, Beyond Blue
  • International organisations, e.g. WHO, UNESCO
  • Professional bodies

Browse their websites or refine your Google search to include that organisation's name or domain (e.g. add to find information from Australian government websites). 

Statistics v Data - what's the difference?

Statistics and data are terms that are often used interchangeably. Strictly speaking, there is a difference.

Data - think of data as the raw numbers or set of information collected, e.g. numbers recorded in a headcount or responses in a survey.

Statistics - this relates to how the data has been interpreted and summarised; the meaning that's been given to the data, e.g. presented in tables, graphs or charts, or expressed as averages or percentages in written reports.

Don't let this put you off though - a number of the websites listed mention data, but you will get the statistics as well. 

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