Third World Statistics Day, 20 October 2020

20th October 2020 will welcome the Third World Statistics Day with the motto “Connecting the world with data we can trust”. For the United Nations, it is an opportunity to highlight the importance of high quality statistics in meeting the challenges of our time. Switzerland participates in this global effort as a member of various international organisations, particularly with regard to sustainable development.

By delivering its data to the United Nations or the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and by participating in the European Statistical System, the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) helps to connect various statistical systems from all around the world in order to obtain reliable and transparent results concerning the most important topics of the moment.

“Current, reliable, timely and trusted data are necessary to understand the changing world in which we live.  Statistics are critical for evidence-based policymaking across all sectors and all societies, regardless of cultural and historical backgrounds or level of development”, stresses António
Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General in his message marking the occasion of this day.

Data more valuable than gold

High quality data produced following a transparent methodology are more important than gold today according to Georges-Simon Ulrich, Director of the FSO. Data are often compared to gold or petrol. In contrast with limited raw materials, the amount of data is constantly increasing. The more you use data, the more valuable data becomes,” he highlights in a recent article.

In the field of sustainable development, the results produced by official statistics are particularly valuable. They provide a measure of the extent to which the goals set out in the 2030 Agenda are on track for completion.