Statistics, the systematic collection and classification of facts relating to the social and industrial conditions of the people. One of the first to systematize statistics and give to them a scientific character was Gottfried Achenwall, who lectured on that subject in the university of Gottingen about the middle of the 18th century, and gave the name (Ger. Staat, state) to the science. A. L. von Schlo-zer (died 1809), a pupil of Achenwall, developed the science more fully. During the present century marked progress has been made in statistical science. The chief countries of Europe have organized statistical bureaus, departments, or commissions, which collect and publish periodically facts relating to the condition of the people in every phase of life. France, Belgium, Sweden, Prussia, and Italy rank specially high in this respect. In London, Paris, and other European cities are statistical societies which publish periodicals. In 1862 a statistical seminary, for affording instruction in the theory and practice of the science, was established in Berlin, through the efforts of Dr. Engel, and a professorship of statistics was established in the university of that city in 187-1. In England statistical reports on the various interests of the United Kingdom are published annually by parliament.
In the United States statistics of commerce and navigation are published monthly and annually by the bureau of statistics; those relating to education are published annually by the commissioner of education, and those relating to agriculture by the bureau of agriculture. - Great importance is attached in all countries to the thorough and frequent collection of vital statistics, which are of the highest value in determining questions of health, duration of life, movement of population, etc. As early as 1686 the clergy in Sweden were required to keep registers of marriages, births, and deaths. In most if not all of the countries of Europe these statistics are carefully collected and published periodically. In England they are under the charge of the registrar general, who publishes an annual report. No provision has been made by the United States for the collection of vital statistics except when the decennial censuses are taken. In many of the states, however, records of births, marriages, and deaths are required to be kept and published at intervals. - The first international statistical congress met in Brussels in 1853; sessions have since been held at Paris, 1855; Vienna, 1857; London, 1860; Berlin, 1863; Florence, 1867; the Hague, 1869; and St. Petersburg, 1872. (See Census).