Charter of the Social Statistics Section

(Revised 2016) [PDF]

Article I. NAME

The name of this organization is the Social Statistics Section of the American Statistical Association (hereafter referred to as the Association).


The principal objectives of the Social Statistics Section are:

  1. To advance research in social statistics, both in areas which involve use of methods of statistical inquiry, and in those which involve the use of statistical data and the development of statistical measurement. Specific activities under this general objective will be:
  2. To stimulate the preparation of articles dealing with social statistics for publication under Association auspices.

    b. To foster the preparation and improvement of the quality of statistical data and statistical techniques valuable in the analysis of social data or in the formulation of social policies.

    c. To advance knowledge in the social sciences by the use of statistical facts and methods.

    d. To produce separate publication either as monographs or periodic bulletins as may be needed.
  3. To enhance the availability and applicability of social statistics to data users


  1. To promote opportunities for collaboration between statisticians and social scientists


  1. To plan for active participation in the affairs of the Association by those interested in these matters and for representation of activities in this major field in the program of the Association. Specific activities under this general objective will be:
  2. To plan, in cooperation, with the Association's Program Committee and/or cosponsors, appropriate sessions on social statistics at the annual meeting of the Association.

    b. To aid, by whatever means possible, general development of the Association including expansion of membership, financial assistance, etc.

In pursuing these objectives, the Section will work closely and coordinate with other sections of the Association whenever appropriate.  In particular, the Section shares interests and activities with the following other sections:

  1. Government Statistics Section
  2. Survey Research Methods Section


  1. The fields generally associated with the social and behavioral sciences, including of (a) anthropology, demography, political science, social psychology (including public opinion and attitude research), and sociology, and (b) public policy and social services, including criminology and penology, education, housing, public health, program participation, and other related fields.

    2. Statistical analysis of the relationships between various social, economic, and other pertinent factors.

    3. Criticism and reformulation of stated generalizations and principles in the light of statistical analysis.

    4. Interpretation of social statistics in the light of underlying statistical procedures and related principles.

    5. The planning, design, and execution of studies to measure needs for various social services, and the benefits, effects, and interrelationships of various programs.

    6. Development of quantitative and qualitative statistical methodology, including such areas as sampling, estimation, analysis, evaluation, processing (electronic, electromechanical, and other), projection and forecasting.

    7. Development of methods to present social statistics so as to maximize their policy, research and educational value.


Membership in the Section shall include all full members of the Association who pay the annual dues established by the Section.

The membership year for each member of the section shall coincide with that member’s membership year in the Association.


All officers must be Section members in accordance with Article IV.

The officers of the Section shall consist of the Chair, the Chair-Elect, the Program Chair, the Program Chair-Elect, the Secretary/Treasurer, and the Publications Officer. The Section shall have one or more Representative(s) on the Association's Council of Sections, the exact number to be determined by the Association’s Council of Sections Governing Board.  These are all voting members of the Section; these individuals may vote on financial matters and official business of the Section.

The terms of office of the Secretary/Treasurer and Publications Officer shall be two years. The terms of all other officers shall be one year. The terms of Representatives to the Association's Council of Sections shall be as prescribed by the Charter of the Council of Sections. A Representative on the Council of Sections is eligible for immediate reelection only if he or she had not been previously elected for a full term.

No officer shall be eligible for immediate re-election to the same office except the Secretary/Treasurer and the Publications Officer.

The Chair-Elect and Program Chair-elect shall automatically succeed the Chair and Program Chair, respectively, at the annual change of officers, which shall occur on January 1.

An individual may hold no more than one office within the Section at a given time.

If the office of the Chair becomes vacant, the Chair-Elect shall become the Chair, the term extending through the following year. The same principle of succession shall apply if the office of Program Chair becomes vacant. Vacancies in other offices and representative(s) to the Council of Sections shall be filled by appointment by the Chair with the approval of the Executive Committee.


  1. Types of Committees

The Committees of the Section shall consist of Standing Committees as provided by this Charter, and Standing and Current Committees as established by the officers of the Section. Current Committees may be established in order to satisfy a particular need or interest of the Section.

A quorum of 50% of voting members must be present at official meetings for all committees, and an opportunity for discussion of matters requiring vote must be allowed. Formal motions and financial disbursements must occur during official meetings of committees.

  1. Membership

The term of membership on Standing and Current Committees, if not otherwise specified in this Charter, shall be three years. Initial terms for new committees shall be set by the Chair of the Section for one, two, or three years so that, as nearly as possible, one-third of the members shall be appointed each year. Each committee shall be governed by a chair appointed by the Chair of the Section, unless otherwise specified in this Charter. All members of Standing Committees and the chairs of Current Committees shall be members of the Section.

  1. Standing Committees

Each Standing Committee must submit an annual report to the Chair of the Section.

  1. Executive Committee

The Executive Committee shall consist of the Section Officers, the Representative(s) to the Council of Sections, and the immediate Past Chair.

The Executive Committee shall manage the affairs of the Section. Actions taken by the Committee during the past year, and plans for future activities, shall be presented at the annual business meeting of the Section for discussion.

The Chair, with the approval of the Executive Committee, may designate committees or individuals to carry out the functions of the Section.

  1. Nominations Committee

The Section's Committee on Nominations shall consist of three members appointed by the Chair. It shall also include the Chair-Elect, who shall serve as the committee chair. No other member of the Executive Committee may be a member of this committee.  The term of membership for this Committee shall be 1 year. 

Each year, the Section's Committee on Nominations shall submit, to the Secretary of the Association and the Section Chair, at least two nominations for each position to be filled. Only current section members can be nominated. In addition, any Section member nominated by petition of 25 or more members of the Section shall also appear on the annual ballot, provided that the petition is presented by one of the petitioners to the Secretary of the Association and the Section Chair within 45 days after the Committee's nominees have been published.

The Association's general deadline for submission of nominations shall apply.

Balloting will be carried out as part of the Association's annual ballot transmission for the election of Association and Section officers.


The annual business meeting of the Section shall be held in connection with the annual meeting of the Association and shall be announced in advance, preferably in the printed or electronic program of that meeting. A year in review of activities, plans for future activities, and a Treasurer’s Report will be presented at this meeting.  A quorum of 50% of voting Section officers must be present at the official annual business meeting. 

Section business may also be conducted with Section members by mail, telephone, or other electronic means.


Amendments to this Charter may be proposed by the Executive Committee of the Section or by a petition signed by at least 25 members of the Section and submitted to the Executive Committee. The proposed amendment shall be submitted to the members of the Section for their vote at the time of the annual election of officers. If approved by a majority of the members of the Section voting, the amendment shall be effective immediately. A copy of the amendment shall be filed with the Secretary of the Association.