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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!
If you're looking for national crime statistics, these are some places to start your research. Consider visiting your state or city websites to look for more specific information.
U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics
Statistics about crime and victims, drugs and crime, criminal offenders, the justice system in the United States, law enforcement, corrections, justice expenditure, and more.
Uniform Crime Reporting Program (URC)
Published by the FBI, includes statistics on crime in the United States, including hate crimes.
UCR Crime Data Explorer
Published by the FBI, includes statistics on violent and property crimes in the United States by location/