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Finding Statistics: Education

The what and why of statistics

Statistics can help provide concrete examples of a larger trend, give the basis for an important chart or graph, or make theoretical arguments tangible.

There are two main branches of statistics:

  • Descriptive--concerns the numerical or quantitative data alone, and can help draw conclusions about a sample, rather than a population.
  • Inferential--concerns the conclusions drawn about an entire population which are infered through the results of a random sampling of a population

Be aware of bias in statistics! Numbers can be manipulated, and charts and graphs can be arranged to give a certain impression. Always double-check your facts!

Education Statisics


If you're looking for statistics about education, these are some good places to begin searching.

  • National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) 
    A division of the Department of Education that publishes a number of statistical resources including the Digest of Education Statistics, Education Statistics Quarterly, the annual Condition of Education, and Projections of Education Statistics to 2013.
  • WorldBank--Education
    International education information and statistics provided by WorldBank.
  • US Census Educational Attainment
    United States Census information concerning educational attainment.
  • Unesco Education 
    Specializes in compiling statistics in the areas of culture & communication, education, and science & technology. A good source for data on international education. Click on Statistics in the Services section in the right column.