1. A collection of numerical values, items of information, or other facts which are numerically grouped into definite classes and subject to analysis, particularly analysis of the probability that the resulting empirical findings are due to chance. 2. The science and art of collecting, summarizing, and analyzing data that are subject to random variation.
- descriptive s. numerical values such as mean, median, and mode which describe the chief features of a group of scores, without regard to a larger population.
- inferential s. s. from which an inference is made about the nature of a population; the purpose is to generalize about the population, based upon data from the sample selected from the population.
- vital s. systematically tabulated information concerning births, marriages, divorces, separations, and deaths, based on the numbers of official registrations of these vital events; the branch of s. concerned with such data.

* * *

sta·tis·tics (stə-tisґtiks) [Ger. Statistik originally “political science of state affairs,” from L. status state] 1. a collection of numerical data. 2. a discipline devoted to the collection, analysis, and interpretation of numerical data using the theory of probability, concerned particularly with methods for drawing inferences about characteristics of a population from examination of a random sample.

Medical dictionary. 2011.