One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1With singular concord. The study of statistical facts and data which describe properties or features of a sample or data set, as opposed to properties which can be inferred for an entire population; the branch of statistics concerned with this.
2Treated as plural. Data or facts of this kind, relating to a sample or data set rather than a population.
Late 19th century. From descriptive + statistics.
descriptive statistics/dɪˌskrɪptɪv stəˈtɪstɪks/
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