Affiliations: European Central Bank, Directorate General Statistics,
Kaiserstrasse 29, 60311 Frankfurt am Main, Germany. E-mail:
Abstract: The world of statistics is continually challenged by its remit to
reflect and explain complex financial and economic phenomena, as well as their
relative importance in, and impact on, society. Furthermore, changes to users'
needs and working patterns – which stem from the increased use of
collaborative technologies – also present challenges in terms of the way
that statistics are communicated to users, be they the political establishment,
professional users, the media, academia or the general public. In contributing to an involved, knowledge-based society,
trustworthy, reliable and independent statistics represent a fundamental
cornerstone of modern democracies. This cannot be taken for granted and further
efforts are needed, in the context of democratic development, to permanently
shield statistics from short-term electoral cycles. This article highlights the principal components of generating trust
in statistics within modern democracies and furthermore highlights that a new
two-way statistical communication strategy is needed designed to reach and
engage users in statistics.