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Nature and Subject Matter of Statistics


Read this article to learn about the Nature and Subject Matter of Statistics!

1. Nature of Statistics:

Here we study statistics as science or art. Different economists and statisticians differ on this point.

According to Bowley, statistics is a science as he suggests as following:


“Statistics is the science of measurement of the social organism regarded as a whole in all its, manifestations.” —Dr. Bowley

This definition is defective. According to this definition, the scope of the science will be restricted to man and his activities.

But others do not agree as Tippett calls is science as well as art.

“Statistics is both a science and an art.” —Tippett


As a science, it studies the statistics in a systematic manner. As an art, it uses statistics to solve the problems of real life. But it is not a complete science such as Physics and Chemistry. Because in these all the causes are kept under control and the observations and results are found similar. But such is not the case with statistics, because observations are made and results are found, but in the mean time situations change so result also change.

“Statistics-A New Approach” have stated that “Statistics is not a body of substantive knowledge but a body of methods for obtaining knowledge.” —Wallis and Roberts

2. Subject Matter:

The subject matter of statistics can be studied under two headings as given below:

1. Statistical Methods


2. Applied Statistics

(а) Statistical Methods:

Here we go through all the laws, by laws, rules, sub-rules and general principles. These include collection, organisation, presentation, analysis and interpretation of data relating to the inquiry. This has already been elaborated.

“By statistical methods, we mean methods especially adopted for elucidation of quantitative data affected by multiplicity of causes.” —Yule and Kendall

(b) Applied Statistics:

This can be classified into two parts:

(i) Descriptive and

(ii) Scientific

(i) deals with the data those have been collected and


(ii) deals with the formation of laws those are based upon above data.

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