A guide to finding statistical information from print and online resources

The Macquarie Dictionary defines statistics as the 'science which deals with the collection, classification, and use of numerical facts or data.'

It may be necessary to obtain statistical data to support or illustrate your research. This guide is intended to help you with this.

What the Library holds

You may find statistics in different formats:

  • Print; e.g. government documents and historical census reports
  • Microform; e.g. census results tables on microfiche
  • CD ROMs; historlcal reports sometimes have CD ROM versions
  • Online; Library records may link directly to the Australian Bureau of Statistics
  • Other online resources from the Library's eResources collection

 Australian Bureau of Statistics

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is the lead source for a range of Australian statistics. Many full-text publications are available on the ABS website, and there is a growing number of historical statistics. Use the search bar at the top, and the menu at the bottom of the ABS home page to help you navigate the website. 

Statistics in Australia

"Australia has one of the most accessible and comprehensive collections of official statistics in the world...Nevertheless, official coverage has been limited to fields that administrations felt should be quantified...Statistics, official or otherwise, like any other historical source, should be viewed with a critical eye".

Vamplew, Wray. 1987, Australians, historical statistics, Fairfax, Syme & Weldon Associates, Broadway, N.S.W., Australia