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World Statistics Day: Background, Themes Over the Years, Significance

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World Statistics Day is observed every 5 years on 20 October under the direct supervision of the United Nations Statistical Commission. As the highest decision-making body for international statistical activities, the United Nations Statistical Commission governs all the events and conferences conducted on this day. This body is also responsible for generating a unique theme for this global event, where its major objectives and significance are highlighted.

World Statistics Day is celebrated to understand the importance of statistics in our lives. Based on the value of service, integrity, and professionalism, this global event raises awareness of the importance of statistics. Let’s explore more about this global event.

EventWorld Statistics Day
Date20th October
ObjectiveTo raise awareness of the importance of statistics in making informed decisions.
Organising BodyUnited Nations Statistical Commission

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Background

In 2010, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the Statistics Division passed a resolution that invited all the colleagues of this department to come together and mark 20th Oct as World Statistics Day. This resolution emphasized the importance of statistics in achieving development goals such as the Millennium Development Goals, which preceded the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG):

  • The inaugural World Statistics Day was celebrated on 20 October 2010, where several events and activities were organized by national statistical offices, international organizations, and statistical communities around the world. These events aimed to raise awareness about the value of statistics in evidence-based decision-making.
  • The second World Statistics Day was observed on 20 October 2015, where events on the importance of data and statistics for SDG were further emphasized. This was done especially in the 2030 Agenda SDG. 

Here’s a link to the webinar released by the United Nations Statistical Commission:

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Themes Over the Years

The last World Statistics Day was observed on 20th October 2020. The theme for the 2020 World Statistics Day was ‘Connecting the World With Data We Can Trust.’ This theme aims to highlight the importance of trust, innovation, authoritative data, and the public good in statistical systems. 

The theme for the 2015 World Statistics Day was ‘Better data, better lives.’ This theme was passed with resolution 96/ 282 of the UNGA. This theme reflects the global commitment to using data and statistics to create a better world for all. The 2015 observance of World Statistics Day coincided with the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which highlighted the importance of data and statistics in measuring progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The table below highlights all the themes of World Statistics Day:

YearsThemes
2010Celebrating the many achievements of official statistics
2015Better data, better lives
2020Connecting the World With Data We Can Trust

Significance

World Statistics Day emphasizes the critical role of data and statistics in decision-making at personal and global levels. This day highlights the importance of using reliable and accurate data to formulate policies, track their progress, and address societal challenges:

  • The celebration of this day aligns with the international community’s commitment to SDG. 
  • Data and statistics are essential for achieving the SDGs and addressing various other global challenges, such as poverty, health, inequality, and climate change.
  • We are living in an increasingly data-driven world. This day emphasizes the importance of using data to make informed decisions. 
  • It promotes collaboration between national statistical offices, international organizations, and other stakeholders.
  • It encourages the sharing of best practices and expertise to enhance the quality and availability of data worldwide.
  • The observance of this day also serves as an opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of data literacy.
  • Reliable data is essential for holding governments and institutions accountable for their actions and progress toward various goals, including those related to human rights, education, health, and economic development.

FAQs

Q1. When do we observe World Statistics Day?

A1. World Statistics Day is celebrated every 5 years on 20th October under the supervision of the United Nations Statistical Commission.

Q2. Why do we celebrate Statistics Day?

A2. Statistics Day is celebrated to raise awareness among the masses about the importance of statistics in planning and strategizing economic and policy decisions at both personal and global levels.

Q3. Who is the First Lady of Statistics?

A3. The First Day of Statistics is Gertrude M. Cox. She was an American statistician and founder of the Department of Experimental Statistics at North Carolina State University.

For more information on such interesting topics, visit our Important Days website and follow Leverage Edu.

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