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HONR 204, Society and Connections

Social Indicators - Defining

What are social indicators?


"Social indicators are aggregate data that describe the status of society. Social indicators usually attempt to assess well-being, quality of life, or standard of living in a society, country, or community. Social indicators address social welfare issues such as health and illness, social mobility, the environment, income and poverty, public safety and crime, and education."  From  Social indicators. (2001). In J. M. Palmisano (Ed.), World of sociology, Gale. Farmington, MI: Gale. Retrieved from Credo Reference

See also definitions in Cambridge Dictionary of Sociology, Reader's Guide to the Social Sciencesand The A-Z of Social Research.


For a useful explanation of the difference between Data and Statistics, see Michigan State University's guide.