Limitations of Statistics

Although, statistics is a very useful science yet it suffers from certain limitations. According to Newsholme, “It must be regarded as an instrument of research of great value but having several limitations which are not possible to overcome and as such they need a careful attention.”

1. Not Useful for Individual Cases:

Statistics does not give any recognition to an individual observation. According to Tippet, “Statistics is essentially tantalization because it is not concerned with individual values but only with classes.”

2. Does Not Study Qualitative Aspect:


Statistics only deals with numerical data. Those facts which are not related to qualitative aspect like poverty, honesty, beauty, ugly etc. which cannot be expressed in numerical terms.

3. Statistics Deals with Average:

Statistical findings are only true on an average. According to W.I. King, “Statistics largely deals with averages and these averages may be made up of individual items radically different from each other.” thus statistical information is true only on an average

4. Statistics can be misused:


Statistical techniques can only be used by an expert one. Un experienced and untrained persons may give wrong conclusion which limits the scope and utility of statistics.

5. Method of Studying Problem:

There are many methods to solve the problem. Statistics is one of them. According to Croxton and Cowdon, “it must not be assumed that the statistical method is the only method to use in research neither should this method be considered the best attack on every problem.”

6. Homogeneity of Data:


Quantitative data must be homogeneous. It is because different quantities of data cannot be compared. For instance, production of food grains cannot be compared with that of scooters. It is so because food grains are measured in tonnes while cars in terms of rupees or numbers.

7. Results may prove wrong:

Statistical results may prove wrong. But, it is not possible in the fields of chemistry and physics. For instance, if a statistical says that production of food grains in India will reach 5260 metric tonnes by the end of 1999, it does not mean that production will exactly be 5260 metric tonnes. It can be little more or less than this. In this way, statistics fails in the fields, where accuracy is desired.