Colonial Period 1788 to 1900
The major official sources of Australian colonial statistics are available on microform. The Colonial Microfiche is available in the Newspaper and Microform Reading Room and in some State Library collections.
The Colonial microfiche covers (among other subjects):
- Census records
- Domestic conditions
- Law and crime
When requesting access, you can first consult the Catalogue of Australian Statistical Publications 1804 to 1901 to see exactly what is available on the microfiche. You can also download the catalogue at the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) website.
The Historical microfiche series contains publications released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) since 1901 and publications issued by the State offices since 1984. An index to the microfiche series is also available.
Some titles from the series have been digitised and are available online at the ABS website
Useful titles, by State:
- Year book, Australia; from 1901.
- Australian Capital Territory Statistical Summary; 1963 - 1992. The 1963 volume contains retrospective statistics to 1911
- Australian Capital Territory in Focus; from 1993
- New South Wales Year Book; from 1904
- Northern Territory Statistical Summary; 1960-1991
- Northern Territory in Focus; from 1992
- Statistics of the State of Queensland; from 1901
- Queensland Year Book; from 1937
- South Australian Statistical register (includes pre-1911 Northern Territory statistics); from 1875
- South Australian Year book; from 1966
- Statistics of Tasmania; from 1902
- Tasmanian Year Book; from 1967
- Victorian Year Book; from 1873
- Statistical Register of Western Australia; from 1896
Many of these publications are available online at the ABS website.
Prices in 1970
I am compiling a book for my 40th Class Reunion and would like to include some statistics of prices of food, houses, cars, fuel in Queensland in 1969-70 and the wages and salaries of both male and female workers in those years. Can you help me find this information?
We will need to consult different sources to find historical prices and wages:
Queensland statistics, monthly summary / Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics, Queensland Office This publication shows the Average weekly earnings of employees (male and female).
We can also find average weekly earnings nationwide online at the Australian Bureau of Statistics, going back to 1967. Select the 'Past and Future Releases' tab.
Queensland Shopkeeper journal includes price lists in different categories. There are different prices for metropolitan and country areas for many products. There are also wage rates for shop assistants, caterers, cafe and restaurant employees and clerks
Some examples, from July 1970:
Heinz baked beans; 13c for 8oz tin
Butter (salted) 55c per 1lb.
Bread, white, sliced and wrapped 23c per 21b. loaf (Brisbane)
Retail prices / Bureau of Census and Statistics, Brisbane (only 1970-1971 available). We can also check availability of this and similar items at Australian libraries with a search of Trove.
- We may also be able to find information from newspapers of the time, as advertisements will give some prices. The National Library and State Libraries have archived newspapers on microfilm, e.g. The Courier-Mail
- 1301.0 - Chapter 9 - Housing and Building: gives the value of new buildings approved, commenced, completed and under constrcution, as well as other relevant information.
- 1301.0 - Chapter 10 - Labour, Wages and Prices: shows weekly wage rates by industry groups.