New book argues official statistics need to live up to their promise

Imperial academics lay out how national statistics offices can better engage with the public, businesses, and civil society in a new book.

Official statistics gathered in the UK cover everything from health and education to crime and commerce. But are these statistics living up to the promise that they should be indispensable in democratic society, helping us live better lives?

Professor Paul Allin and Professor David Hand, both from the Department of Mathematics at Imperial, have authored a new book to tackle this question, titled: From GDP to Sustainable Wellbeing: Changing Statistics or Changing Lives?

We spoke to the authors about the current state of official statistics, how they might be improved to better take into account principles like sustainable wellbeing, and how the COVID-19 pandemic has helped shift views on the topic.

What do we currently collect as ‘official statistics’?

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