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Research Guides


Collections in Perth: A Guide to Commonwealth Government Records


3. Census and Statistics

Although the Commonwealth established the Bureau of Census and Statistics in 1906, the Western Australian Government Statistician continued to be responsible for the census and statistics function in WA until 1957.

The Agencies

R J Little was appointed the Deputy Commonwealth Statistician in 1957 and the Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics, WA Office was established with 80 new positions.

The bureau was responsible for collecting, tabulating and analysing Australian statistics; taking periodic population censuses; and investigating, and preparing reports on, special statistical subjects such as national income and balance-of-payments figures. In 1974, the bureau was renamed the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Access to some records in these series may be withheld because the information they contain was provided by force of legislation for a specific purpose and with the understanding that it would be treated as confidential.

The following Agencies created series about statistics and census matters.

  • 1895–1957: Western Australian Government Statistician
  • 1957–74: Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics, WA (CA 1097)

The Records

Some records in the series listed below contain publications produced by the Bureau of Census and Statistics, including information about their preparation and development. Western Australian historians might be particularly interested in the 'raw data' for matters such as factory statistics. It should be remembered that census forms are destroyed as soon as the information they contain is collated into a database.

GENERAL ADMINISTRATION FILES, ANNUAL SINGLE NUMBER SERIES, 1892–1960
Perth
This series contains correspondence files on statistical methods and principles.
Series: PP131/1
Quantity: 12.6 metres
Recorded by: 1957–60: Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics, WA (CA 1097)
FACTORY STATISTICS VOLUMES, 1957–64 (CONTENTS RANGE: 1935–64)
Perth
The volumes in this series contain data on factory statistics.
Series: PP348/2
Quantity: 8.64 metres
Recorded by: 1957–64: Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics, WA (CA 1097)
CORRESPONDENCE FILES, ANNUAL SINGLE NUMBER SERIES, 1957–69 (CONTENTS RANGE: 1910–69)
Perth
This series contains correspondence files on operational and administrative matters such as statistics methodology and principles, statistical data and conferences.
Series: PP362/1
Quantity: 8.1 metres
Recorded by: 1957–69: Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics, WA (CA 1097)
CORRESPONDENCE FILES, ANNUAL SINGLE NUMBER SERIES, 1957–70 (CONTENTS RANGE: 1955–70)
Perth
Files in this series contain statistics about wine and brandy production and about the construction of new agricultural machinery.
Series: PP570/1
Quantity: 0.18 metres
Recorded by: 1957–70: Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics, WA (CA 1097)
CORRESPONDENCE FILES, ANNUAL SINGLE NUMBER SERIES, 1957–72 (CONTENTS RANGE: 1954–72)
Perth
This series contains correspondence files on financial and production statistics.
Series: PP525/1
Quantity: 5.22 metres
Recorded by: 1957–72: Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics, WA (CA 1097)
CORRESPONDENCE FILES, ANNUAL SINGLE NUMBER SERIES, 1957–74 (CONTENTS RANGE: 1947–74)
Perth
This series contains correspondence files on agricultural and pastoral statistics.
Series: PP555/1
Quantity: 5.76 metres
Recorded by: 1957–74: Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics, WA (CA 1097)
CORRESPONDENCE FILES, ANNUAL SINGLE NUMBER SERIES, 1957–82 (CONTENTS RANGE: 1895–1984)
Perth
This series contains correspondence about the activities of the bureau, including material produced by the WA Government Statistician. The latter includes information about the transferral of responsibility for the collection, compilation and dissemination of statistical data from the State to the Commonwealth.
Series: K68
Quantity: 5.76 metres
Recorded by: 1957–74: Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics, WA (CA 1097)

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