What is the value of official statistics and how do we communicate that value?

Tudorel ANDREI
National Institute of Statistics – Romania

“Not everything that can be counted counts
and not everything that counts can be counted”
Albert Einstein

Background – examples

Einstein’s aphorism mentioned above wasn’t meant to colour the text, but we particularly believe it corresponds, in a way, to the topic we plan to introduce during the seminar. Consequently, paraphrasing it, the aphorism suggests a derived one which could read: “Not any statistics is official statistics and not any official statement that contains a numerical expression is statistics”.
As to the above statements, the following question normally arises: “if not any statistics is official statistics, than what does official statistics mean and where does this brand, that represents a special value of statistics, come from?”
On the other hand, if not any official statement, that contains a numerical expression on a certain economic or social phenomenon, is statistics, then what kind of meaning does it have?

[Full Text]

Romanian Statistical Review 3/2014