Happy World Statistics Day!

October 20, 2010 was set aside to celebrate the first World Statistics Day. The goal is to raise awareness of the achievements of official statistics and to recognize the work of statisticians in producing and disseminating the necessary data to respond to the every day new challenges and to measure progress in people’s lives. The celebration of the World Statistics Day will acknowledge the service provided by the global statistical system at national and international level, and help strengthen the awareness and trust of the public in official statistics. It serves as an advocacy tool to further support the work of statisticians across different settings, cultures, and domains.

Over 100 countries around the globe are celebrating with special events, Census data releases, statistical literacy campaigns, and statistical fairs.

Statistics are a part of our every day lives. We use and reference them regularly, sometimes without even realizing it. The US Census Bureau produced a video to illustrate just how common (and important!) statistics are.

They’ve also released a Special Edition of Facts for Features, featuring some fun facts in honor of the occasion:

There are 14 U.S. principal statistical agencies: the Bureau of Economic Analysis; Bureau of Justice Statistics; Bureau of Labor Statistics; Bureau of Transportation Statistics; U.S. Census Bureau; Economic Research Service; Energy Information Administration; National Agricultural Statistics Service; National Center for Education Statistics; National Center for Health Statistics; Office of Environmental Information; Social Security Administration Office of Research Evaluation and Statistics; National Science Foundation: Science Resources Statistics; and the Internal Revenue Service’s Statistics of Income Division. (HealthLandscape includes data from many of these agencies!)

There were 29,208 statisticians employed in the United States in 2009.

In 2008, 20 percent of statisticians are employed by the federal government, with most of them concentrated in the Departments of Commerce, Agriculture, and Health and Human Services. Another 10 percent worked for state and local governments.

(Source: US Census Bureau)

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