Introduction to the Africa, Asia and Oceania Volume

  • Palgrave Macmillan Ltd
Reference work entry


Historical statistics are now recognised, as never before, as a major raw material of much economic history, especially of that concerned with economic growth and development. In response to this, national collections of historical statistics began to make their appearance from the late 1940s onwards. Towards the end of the 1960s, it seemed that the time was ripe for gathering together the main statistical series for all major countries of the world, and a beginning was made with those of Europe, for which there was more material available than for most others.1 This was followed by the first print edition of the International Historical Statistics2, which did not include Oceania, and International Historical Statistics: The Americas and Australasia.3 Revised and updated editions were published in 1993, 1998 and 2005. The objective of these books has been to provide economists and historians with a wide range of statistical data without the difficulty of identifying sources, of obtaining access to them, and the often considerable labour of extracting the figures from many different places and, one hopes, ensuring that sometimes variously defined figures are transformed until they form part of comparable series.


Soviet Republic French Franc East India Company Fiji Island British Colony 
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  1. B.R. Mitchell, European Historical Statistics, 1750–1970 (London, 1975); second edition (extended to 1975), 1980: and third edition (extended to 1988 and International Historical Statistics: Europe 1750–1988, Basingstoke & New York, 1992)Google Scholar
  2. W. A. Robson (ed.), Man and the Social Sciences (London, 1972)Google Scholar
  3. W. Paul Strassman, Risk and Technological Innovation (Ithaca, NY, 1959), p. 5Google Scholar

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