October 20, 2015




Today is World Statistics Day. In support of this, the International Actuarial Association (IAA) has joined over 50 organizations in endorsing the following statement.


Access to reliable data is crucial for actuaries working in the area of social protection to ensure sound policy-making and accountability in all countries. This action supports the IAA’s Vision statement: ”The actuarial profession is recognized worldwide as a major player in the decision-making process within the financial services industry, in the area of social protection and in the management of risk, contributing to the well-being of society as a whole”.


The Royal Statistical Society (RSS), with both the International Statistical Institute (ISI) and the American Statistical Association (ASA), is marking World Statistics Day on the 20th of October with a statement urging that global development must no longer be hampered by a lack of the most basic data about the social and economic circumstances in which people live. At the time of going to press, almost 50 organisations worldwide have signed up to the statement calling for ‘a true data revolution’ to measure progress toward the new Sustainable Development goals. 


Marking the second ever World Statistics Day, the statement emphasises that national statistical systems are central to global development. In order for poverty to be abolished, everywhere and in all forms, it is essential that everyone is counted, progress is monitored, and that information is made available as widely as possible. Above all, the statement concludes, useful and useable information must be put into the hands of everyone who needs it.


Whilst the statement notes that significant progress has been made internationally in strengthening national statistical systems, more must be done to meet the data challenges of the Sustainable Development Goals.


The statement calls for:




The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were set in September 2015, at the United Nations General Assembly. These goals formed part of an ambitious agenda for world development from 2016 to 2030: to wipe out poverty, fight inequality and tackle climate change. Seventeen goals with 169 targets and more than 300 indicators were put in place to monitor progress. 


For further information on the ‘data revolution’, please see the United Nations’ Independent Expert Advisory Group (IEAG) 2014 report, entitled ‘A World that Counts: Mobilising the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development’, on how a ‘data revolution’ in sustainable development might be brought about. www.statslife.org.uk/news/1902-un-publishes-report-on-using-data-for-sustainable-development