Population Census and the Beginning of Official Statistics



In Sweden (and Swedish Finland) the first population census was taken in 1750, in Scotland in 1755, in Portugal in 1768, in Spain, Denmark, Iceland and Norway in 1769, various Italian states around 1770. France and England followed in 1801. Exact population data were of interest for a number of purposes, especially for the ministries of finance (taxation).
In Sweden, PEHR WARGENTIN in 1749 established the Tabellverket, a predecessor of Sweden's Statistical Central Bureau. During that period (1718-1772) political power in Sweden lay with Riksdag (parliament). Thus it was constitutional monarchies - Sweden, the UK - which spearheaded the introduction of official statistics, of a population census.

In the 19th century, statistical bureaus were established across Europe : Prussia 1805, Bavaria 1808, Württemberg 1820, Belgium 1831, Netherlands 1848, Spain 1856, Switzerland 1860, Greece 1860, Norway 1876.
Population censi were held in the (then united) Netherlands in 1816, Cisleithanian Austria in 1818, Greece 1821, Ireland 1821, Serbia 1834, Switzerland in 1837.







EXTERNAL
FILES
Materials for the History of Statistics, from Univ. of York
The history of official statistics in Germany, from Federal Statistical Office, Germany
De Statistiek in Belgie - een oud Verhaal (Statistics in Belgium, an old story), from INS/NVS, in Dutch
100 Years Statistics Netherlands, from Eurodata
Short History of the NSI (Spain), from INE/NSI
DOCUMENTS Historical Population Statistics, from Population Statistics, Univ. Utrecht
REFERENCE B.R. Mitchell, International Historical Statistics : Europe 1750-1988, NY : Stockton Press 1992



This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on September 11th 2003, last revised on November 14th 2004

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