Classic social science foundational study by Andre-Michel Guerry on crime, suicide, literacy and other “moral statistics” in 1830s France. Data from the R package Guerry (Michael Friendly and Stephane Dray). See below for detailed sources.

Data overview

Variable Description Source
dept Department ID: Standard numbers for the departments  
Region Region of France (‘N’=’North’, ‘S’=’South’, ‘E’=’East’, ‘W’=’West’, ‘C’=’Central’). Corsica is coded as NA.  
Dprtmnt Department name: Departments are named according to usage in 1830, but without accents. A factor with levels Ain Aisne AllierVosges Yonne  
Crm_prs Population per Crime against persons. Table A2 in Guerry (1833). Compte général, 1825-1830
Crm_prp Population per Crime against property. Compte général, 1825-1830
Litercy Percent of military conscripts who can read and write. Table A2 in Guerry (1833)
Donatns Donations to the poor. Table A2 in Guerry (1833). Bulletin des lois
Infants Population per illegitimate birth. Table A2 in Guerry (1833). Bureau des Longitudes, 1817-1821
Suicids Population per suicide. Table A2 in Guerry (1833). Compte général, 1827-1830
Maincty Size of principal city (‘1:Sm’, ‘2:Med’, ‘3:Lg’), used as a surrogate for population density. Large refers to the top 10, small to the bottom 10; all the rest are classed Medium. Table A1 in Guerry (1833). An ordered factor with levels: 1:Sm < 2:Med < 3:Lg
Wealth Per capita tax on personal property. A ranked index based on taxes on personal and movable property per inhabitant. Table A1 in Guerry (1833)
Commerc Commerce and Industry, measured by the rank of the number of patents / population. Table A1 in Guerry (1833)
Clergy Distribution of clergy, measured by the rank of the number of Catholic priests in active service population. Table A1 in Guerry (1833). Almanach officiel du clergy, 1829
Crim_prn Crimes against parents, measured by the rank of the ratio of crimes against parents to all crimes – Average for the years 1825-1830. Table A1 in Guerry (1833). Compte général
Infntcd Infanticides per capita. A ranked ratio of number of infanticides to population – Average for the years 1825-1830. Table A1 in Guerry (1833). Compte général
Dntn_cl Donations to the clergy. A ranked ratio of the number of bequests and donations inter vivios to population – Average for the years 1815-1824. Table A1 in Guerry (1833). Bull. des lois, ordunn. d’autorisation
Lottery Per capita wager on Royal Lottery. Ranked ratio of the proceeds bet on the royal lottery to population — Average for the years 1822-1826. Table A1 in Guerry (1833). Compte rendu par le ministre des finances
Desertn Military desertion, ratio of number of young soldiers accused of desertion to the force of the military contingent, minus the deficit produced by the insufficiency of available billets – Average of the years 1825-1827. A1. Compte du ministère du guerre, 1829 état V
Instrct Instruction. Ranks recorded from Guerry’s map of Instruction. Note: this is inversely related to Literacy  
Prsttts Number of prostitutes registered in Paris from 1816 to 1834, classified by the department of their birth Parent-Duchatelet (1836),De la prostitution en Paris
Distanc Distance to Paris (km). Distance of each department centroid to the centroid of the Seine (Paris) Calculated from department centroids
Area Area (1000 km^2). Angeville (1836)
Pop1831 Population in 1831, in 1000s Taken from Angeville (1836),Essai sur la Statistique de la Population français


Note that most of the variables (e.g., Crime_pers) are scaled so that more is “better”.

Values for the quantitative variables displayed on Guerry’s maps were taken from Table A2 in the English translation of Guerry (1833) by Whitt and Reinking. Values for the ranked variables were taken from Table A1, with some corrections applied. The maximum is indicated by rank 1, and the minimum by rank 86.


Angeville, A. (1836). Essai sur la Statistique de la Population française Paris: F. Doufour.

Guerry, A.-M. (1833). Essai sur la statistique morale de la France Paris: Crochard. English translation: Hugh P. Whitt and Victor W. Reinking, Lewiston, N.Y. : Edwin Mellen Press, 2002.

Parent-Duchatelet, A. (1836). De la prostitution dans la ville de Paris, 3rd ed, 1857, p. 32, 36


Dray, S. and Jombart, T. (2011). A Revisit Of Guerry’s Data: Introducing Spatial Constraints In Multivariate Analysis. The Annals of Applied Statistics, Vol. 5, No. 4, 2278-2299., DOI: 10.1214/10-AOAS356.

Brunsdon, C. and Dykes, J. (2007). Geographically weighted visualization: interactive graphics for scale-varying exploratory analysis. Geographical Information Science Research Conference (GISRUK 07), NUI Maynooth, Ireland, April, 2007.

Friendly, M. (2007). A.-M. Guerry’s Moral Statistics of France: Challenges for Multivariable Spatial Analysis. Statistical Science, 22, 368-399.

Friendly, M. (2007). Data from A.-M. Guerry, Essay on the Moral Statistics of France (1833).

See Also

The Guerry package for maps of France: gfrance and related data.

Prepared by Center for Spatial Data Science. Last updated July 3, 2017. Data provided “as is,” no warranties.