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Government Information: Thematic Guides

Historical Statistics

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Historical Statistics of Canada, Second Edition

The second edition of Historical statistics of Canada was jointly produced by the Social Science Federation of Canada and Statistics Canada in 1983. It contains over 1000 statistical tables and documentation on the social, economic and institutional conditions of Canada from the start of Confederation in 1867 to the mid-1970s.

Note: the first edition (Print: CA6 SRA 65H37) has series that were not included in the second edition.

Canada Year Book

Presented in almanac style, the Canada Year Book has tables, charts and analytical articles on every major area of Statistics Canada's expertise. The Canada Year Book is the premier reference on the social and economic life of Canada and its citizens.

Census of Canada - 1608 - present

Pre-Confederation data:

  • 1871 Census, Volumes 4 & 5
    Volume 4 CA1 BSC X1.C04 1871 (Documents Reference)
    contains a reproduction of census data, 1665 - 1871
    Volume 5 CA1 BSC X1.C05 1871 (Documents Reference)
    contains a further census data, 1608 - 1876
    Online: Introduction to Censuses of Canada, 1665 to 1871
  • Questions asked in the census:
    The 2001 Census Handbook, CA1 BSC 2001C05 (Documents Reference), has a table of questions and when they were asked ("Census Questionnaire Content and Derived Variables Since Confederation", p.29-34). This is useful to determine whether an answer may be found in a given census.
  • Historical catalogue of Statistics Canada publications, 1918-1980
    CA1 BS11 C512 (Documents Reference)
    An index to Statistics Canada and Dominion Bureau of Statistics publications. Includes annotations for each publication.

Statistics also can be found in the Journals and Sessional Papers. For our holdings, see the Canadian Parliamentary Documents - Pre-Confederation guide.

United States

Historical statistics of the United States: Earliest Times to the Present

This 5-volume update of the 1789-1970 edition adds 30 years of data (to 2000) and additional historical content.
Topics include:

  • Population (volume 1)
  • Work and welfare (volume 2)
  • Economic structure and performance (volume 3)
  • Economic sectors (volume 4)
  • Governance and international relations (volume 5)

Historical Statistics of the United States: Colonial Times 1789 - 1970

Statistical Abstract of the United States, 1878 - present

Gross Product by Industry for the United States and States

Gross Domestic Product by Industry for 1947 - 1999
Gross State Product for 1977 - 1999

The War of the Rebellion: a Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, 1860-1865

Complied in 128 volumes, the Official Records provide the comprehensive, authoritative, and voluminous reference on Civil War operations.

United Kingdom

Abstract of British historical statistics

Most series begin in the 18th or 19th centuries

Annual abstract of statistics, 1840 - 2011


International historical statistics, 1750 - 2000

Three volumes that cover Africa, Asia and Oceania; Europe; and The Americas

Government Information Guides

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