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21 - A statistical narrative: Australia, 1800–2010

from Part 6 - Looking backwards and to the future

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 September 2014

Simon Ville
Affiliation:
University of Wollongong, New South Wales
Glenn Withers
Affiliation:
Australian National University, Canberra
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Summary

This chapter discusses the evolution of the main official statistical collections in the period 1800-2010 and the evolution of the Australian economy using those statistics. Official statistical collections began with European settlement in 1788. In 1850 the British parliament enacted the Australian Colonies Government Act, which granted representative constitutions to the colonies. Self-government came in 1855-56, and created a requirement for statistics to support efficient public administration by the individual colonies. By the end of the 19th century, Australia's official statistical collections were broad in scope, of high quality and at the leading edge of statistical measurement internationally. The chapter presents tables and graphs based on data compiled from various sources. Economic growth and development and the consequent improvements in levels of consumption are remarkably consistent, despite turning points in the growth of population, GDP, investment and productivity.
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2014

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