I am investigating factors that influence how certain areas have intensified over time in a city. There are twenty five areas which represent all of these types of area in the city.

I am using Spearman correlations to determine if there is a relationship between scores for their degree of intensification between two date ranges, and a range of possible explanatory variables.

Do statistical significance levels (p-values) have any meaning in this instance? As my "sample" is actually the population, wouldn't the observed sample correlations equal the actual relationship?

I am hoping to use the strength of the relationships to determine which factors are the most important.

  • $\begingroup$ If you have data for the whole population of interest then you have no need for inferential statistics. The statistics based on your data are the truth. $\endgroup$ – user2974951 Feb 12 '19 at 10:05