Government benefits for using citizens’ accurate and immutable statistical data

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Every country needs basic verifiable information on its residents to aid in the planning, development, and improvement of the residents’ quality of life. Good planning is based on reliable, up-to-date, accurate and detailed information that gives a full reflection of the society in the country. This information makes it possible to plan better services, improve the quality of life and solve existing problems.

Some of the major uses of a country’s statistical information include:

Assessing the economic well being of the citizens. Accurate census data are critical for developing accurate assessments of the economic well-being for the Nation as a whole as well as for different racial, ethnic, and regional populations.

It is used in the provision of assistance for families and low-income populations.Programs that aim to identify areas eligible for housing assistance and rehabilitation loans; housing subsidies; job training and employment services; energy cost assistance; and community economic development depend on the clear picture often portrayed by good census data. The data also comes in handy in the allocation of funds for supplemental food programs and other social services for women and children.

In Education. Verifiable census data is critical to local government agencies and school boards trying to determine the need for new schools, including what type and level of school to set up and fund.

Census data is also used in Planning. Numerous state and local government planning responsibilities depend on accurate data, including determining the need for, highways, public transportation, hospitals, libraries, and police and fire protection. The data also helps environmental agencies analyze energy consumption, identify conservation opportunities, and forecast energy needs.

Other uses of the data

Statistical data on a population serves as an important base for other surveys. Accurate data forms a crucial input into the sample designs of other national surveys such as the Current Population Survey (the source of the nation’s unemployment statistics), the Survey of Income and Program Participation, and the National Crime Victimization Survey among others.

Calculating rates.

Data from other sources are combined with accurate citizen data to compute rates of various indicators. A good example would be rate for health service utilization, imprisonment and victimization rates, and crime rates.

Creating national estimates. Census data are used to adjust surveys to be nationally representative. For example, statistical data can be used to make survey results on education indicators reflect the total country’s population.

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Melissa Daniels
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