Statistical Science

A.-M. Guerry’s Moral Statistics of France: Challenges for Multivariable Spatial Analysis

Michael Friendly

Full-text: Open access

Abstract

André-Michel Guerry’s (1833) Essai sur la Statistique Morale de la France was one of the foundation studies of modern social science. Guerry assembled data on crimes, suicides, literacy and other “moral statistics,” and used tables and maps to analyze a variety of social issues in perhaps the first comprehensive study relating such variables. Indeed, the Essai may be considered the book that launched modern empirical social science, for the questions raised and the methods Guerry developed to try to answer them.

Guerry’s data consist of a large number of variables recorded for each of the départments of France in the 1820–1830s and therefore involve both multivariate and geographical aspects. In addition to historical interest, these data provide the opportunity to ask how modern methods of statistics, graphics, thematic cartography and geovisualization can shed further light on the questions he raised. We present a variety of methods attempting to address Guerry’s challenge for multivariate spatial statistics.

Article information

Source
Statist. Sci. Volume 22, Number 3 (2007), 368-399.

Dates
First available: 2 January 2008

Permanent link to this document
http://projecteuclid.org/euclid.ss/1199285037

Digital Object Identifier
doi:10.1214/07-STS241

Mathematical Reviews number (MathSciNet)
MR2399897

Zentralblatt MATH identifier
06075129

Citation

Friendly, Michael. A.-M. Guerry’s Moral Statistics of France : Challenges for Multivariable Spatial Analysis. Statistical Science 22 (2007), no. 3, 368--399. doi:10.1214/07-STS241. http://projecteuclid.org/euclid.ss/1199285037.


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