The History of Statistics, Their Development and Progress in Many Countries: In Memoirs to Commemorate the Seventy-Fifth Anniversary of the American Statistical Association


The motive that inspired this volume was to mark the Seventy fifth Anniversary of the American Statistical Association by a serviceable contribution to our knowledge of statistics. The opportunity was found in preparing a history of the development and organization of official statistics throughout the world. By the aid of certain commemorative publications and other scattered documents one could piece together more or less complete sketches of the status of statistics in this or that country covering various periods of time; for most countries comprehensive and authoritative statements were lacking. The story had not yet been written as a whole and in detail how different nations have systematized information about themselves, what statistical means they employed, and what has been accomplished to the end that national forces and resources might be placed under wise direction and legislation.

The history of the development and organization of official statistics is not a barren record of steps in a scientific process of dealing with facts, but of efforts to get a working knowledge about the fundamental elements in the life of a country--the population, its environment, and its manifold economic and social relations. By taking measure of these elements, statistics reveal the condition of growth and trend in every direction and set out the milestones for the guidance of the administrator and legislator. But the manner in which the science of statistics has been applied also carries many practical lessons, for out of the abundant experience of others the rest of us must learn. Although the official statisticians of the different countries in the main are occupied with the same problems, the conditions under which they labor vary according to the tradition, experience, recognized needs and legislation of each country, out of which have grown the present forms of statistical organiza-

Additional information

Includes content by:
  • S. N. D. North
  • George Handley Knibbs
  • Dr. Robert Meyer
  • Armand Julin
  • Ernest H. Godfrey
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • New York
Publication year:
  • 1918


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