Welcome to another edition of our semi-regular feature Web Resource of the Week here at The Patriot Spot
. This week we turn our attention to Europe to bring you a great resource for statistics: Eurostat
. Eurostat is the European Union
's Statistical Office, which is located in Luxembourg, and it is also an online information portal that you can access online when you need statistical information from EU members. This site will be of interest to teachers, government officials, business people, journalists, researchers, and the public.
What kind of things can you learn from statistics? The folks at Eurostat provide an answer:
"Statistics can answer many questions. Is society heading in the direction promised by politicians? Is unemployment up or down? Are there more CO2 emissions compared to ten years ago? How many women go to work? How is your country’s economy performing compared to other EU Member States?"
Readers need to note that Eurostat does not collect the statistics. They collect statistics provided by the EU member nations. The nations, through their statistical authorities, collect the data and provide it to Eurostat. What Eurostat does then is consolidate the data and harmonizes it. In simple terms, Eurostat, working with the member states, sets some common parameters for statistical methodology and questions about the statistics so the data can be used to make comparisons between nations. This assures that you can compare apples to apples.
So, what are some of the features you will find in Eurostat?
- Their statistics database can be searched. It can also be browsed by topics or with an alphabetical list.
- You can find links and address information for member states' statistical offices.
- Eurostat has a publications program. You can order documents; however, you can also get them online as PDF files free. Publications range from their pocketbooks (small documents that provide basic figures on a specific topic) to methodologies and working papers (technical publications for experts in specific fields).
- The site offers RSS feeds, so you can keep up with news stories and new data releases.
Additionally, the folks at Eurostat understand that some people may find statistics a little overwhelming. To address that issue, they have created another website that readers may find useful: Statistics Explained
. This wiki presents statistical topics in a way that is easy to understand. It includes an online encyclopedia with a little over 700 articles as well as statistical glossary to help explain specific terms. The creators of Statistics Explained
do note that the site is currently in beta, but after trying it out, I can say that readers will find it accessible and useful. Statistics Explained
does offer RSS feeds as well so you can keep up with additions and changes to the site. When combined with Eurostat, you get an excellent set of statistical resources that can be used in areas such as politics, economics, business, education, criminal justice, and health among others.
I have linked Eurostat
and Statistics Explained
in our Research Guides
for Political Science
, and Public Administration
. To easily find our subject guides, visit the library's webpage (http://library.uttyler.edu
) and click on "Research Guides."