Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: October 04, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412994163 | Print ISBN: 9781412959636 | Online ISBN: 9781412994163| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Aggregate Data Analysis
Uwe Wagschal & Sebastian Jäckle
Aggregate data are quantified attributes of collectivities that either relate to the body of interest as a whole (e.g., the level of democracy for countries) or have been aggregated on the basis of the properties of individual members of the collective. Aggregate data could also be negative, that is, not individual data , meaning that aggregate data refer to bigger entities (e.g., nations, regions, or companies) than individual data do (e.g., voters, workers, or inhabitants of some geographic area). The process of aggregation can be performed by calculating sums or various means (e.g., geometric or arithmetic mean) of the frequency distribution of individual cases. Aggregate data are predominantly secondary data; that is, researchers do not usually collect such data on their own. Another distinction refers to macro- versus microdata, with aggregate data always referring to quantities on a higher meso- or macrolevel. In this entry, types and sources of such ...