Uses of Federal Statistical Reports
Some of the uses to which Federal statistics are put have been set forth in broad terms in this report. The range is wide and has been steadily expanding. Guides to the use of land, forests, fisheries, minerals, and other material resources and for their conservation are provided by statistical information. Population and vital statistics, marriage and divorce statistics are bases for understanding the structure and growth of our society. Comprehensive and prompt reporting of mortality statistics is essential to the formulation of public health programs. Population and birth rate data, anthropometric measurements, and statistics on the size and regional distribution of national income, savings, and consumer expenditures help to shape the decisions of business enterprises concerning the production and distribution of goods. Agricultural production and income relate directly to supplies of food and of various industrial raw materials, and to demand for many types of producer and consumer goods. Statistics enter into industrial relations; policies and legislation on working conditions and social security programs must be based on accurate quantitative information. If administrative policies and legislation on fiscal, monetary, and general economic issues are to be realistically founded, they must be framed in the light of relevant facts.
The following summaries describe in somewhat greater detail some of the purposes served by statistics collected and analyzed by governmental agencies. The list is not exhaustive, either for individual agencies or for the system as a whole.
This is the central agency of the Department of Agriculture, providing basic agricultural statistics and analyses designed to give a rounded picture of the operations of the agricultural sector in relation to the working of the whole economy. These include statistics of crop and livestock production and marketing, prices received and paid by farmers, and income, expenditures, and financial conditions of farmers.