Historical statistics: 1788-1996

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All users should be aware that some topics or historical content may be culturally sensitive, offensive or distressing, and that some images may contain nudity or are of people not yet identified. Certain words, terms or descriptions may reflect the author's/creator's attitude or that of the period in which they were written, but are now considered inappropriate in today's context.

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Access anywhere with a library card In the Library (or anywhere with a Library card for NSW residents)
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NSW statistics

Getting started

From the earliest years of the first settlement, the colonial government began collecting and publishing statistical information. This began with the first musters of people and continues today with the publications and website of the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Use this guide to find historical statistics for New South Wales, the Commonwealth government and other states from 1788 to 1996.

Search our catalogue:

NSW Statistics

Using the Library


Did you know?

In 1891, there were 54 librarians, 12 pugilists and 8 phrenologists living in NSW on census day.

Changing attitudes

The language used in some of the publications reflects the ideas and attitudes of the writer or the society at the time it was written. Some of the language may now be considered inappropriate or offensive.


Cause of accidents?

Residents in New South Wales drank 13 million gallons of beer in 1891.