Data Mining Vital Statistics Yields Fascinating Societal Insights

Data mining vital records can provide fascinating insights on major social trends.

smart data for business cost reduction
Shutterstock Photo License - By G-Stock Studio

Data mining serves many essential purposes in numerous applications. It can be vital for identifying some of the most important social trends affecting people all over the country.

Last April, we talked about ways that social data can be useful in business. However, social data can serve even more important purposes, especially for public policy makers, GMOs and leading nonprofits.

There are a lot of sources of data that can be useful for reaching these insights. Vital statistics can be great for identifying some of the biggest social trends influencing the country. Data mining these records can be incredibly important.

Vital statistics is a form of data you may not have realized held an incredible amount of significance in society. You may also be wondering what exactly vital statistics are.

In short, vital statistics are data points that include birth, death, marriage, and divorce records. These are common records every citizen needs to file and have.

What can often be overlooked is what all this data means and how it can be used. Here are several things vital statistics can reveal about society.

Growing populations

When you hear about more people filing for a new birth certificate, odds are you have a growing population. What may not be as straightforward are the reasons why.

If an entire country has an increasing population, that could indicate an increase in people’s perceived quality of life or fewer threats that would otherwise prevent growth. If people feel comfortable having children, chances are things may be going well in that society.

If populations continue to grow, there may become a point when resources become bare and cannot keep it with the population. This is helpful to know as you can strategize how to prepare. You can figure out how to ration limited resources or create alternatives.

If a population isn’t growing, you’ll need to dive into the data and try to figure out why. When a population doesn’t grow, it can decrease several things such as economic prosperity, military power, etc.

Marriage trends

It’s kind of weird to think about what you can learn from marriage trends. For some of us, marriage doesn’t even play a big part in our everyday lives. Still, there’s quite a bit we can learn from data mining marriage records.

If a society has a growing marriage rate, that could indicate a potential for more childbirths. It’s not uncommon for a married couple to have children at some point. If there’s an increase in childbirth, it could indicate that people feel comfortable emotionally and financially expanding their households. Using this train of logic, you can gain a deep understanding of how the average household is developing.

Conversely, if data mining shows an increase in divorces, that could be a red flag. This can reveal negative trends in society.

When you look at divorce rates, you’ll want to look at the context as to why the divorce took place. You may notice there’s been an increasing pattern of marriages ending because of abuse or infidelity. From there, you’d want to understand why abuse or infidelity cases are more common. There’s no limit to the number of things you can discover.

Health issues

Vital statistics play an essential part in making public health policies and understanding increasing health issues. Epidemiologists can engage in data mining to learn more about these kinds of issues.

Death records reveal a lot about society. Mining data from death records can indicate certain diseases that are having a tremendous impact on a population.

When historians look at 2020, they’ll see many deaths related to COVID-19, which makes sense. Throughout 2020, COVID-19 was a deadly virus that caused a devastating amount of fatalities.

It’s not just the number of deaths by diseases, though. When you look at death records, you’ll want to look at other circumstances.

For example, if there’s an increase in the number of suicides within a population, that could indicate a growing mental health issue. From there, you’d want to understand what those factors are. It could be related to an increase in diagnosed cases of depression or anxiety disorders.

Interpretation matters

While vital statistics are important, the data can only reveal so much. It’s a component within a greater story that requires involved thinking and interpretation.

You need to be prepared to look at data from different angles to find significant hidden meanings that can significantly help society.

Data Mining Vital Records Shows Important Social Insights

There are a lot of important trends that can be gleaned from data mining. Savvy social experts can mine data from vital statistics to identify major trends for the foreseeable future.

Sean is a freelance writer and big data expert. He loves to write on big data, analytics and predictive analytics.