History (1911-2001)

The German Statistical Society was founded in 1911 as a section of the German Sociological Association, which had been dissolved by the Association for Social Policy, in which the well-known German economist, Sociologists and statisticians were united. This history points out, that the German Statistical Society was all oriented in its beginnings on the application field economy and society.

First chairman was the head of the Royal Bavarian State Statistical Office, Georg Mayr, at the same time professor of economics, Finance and Statistics at the University of Munich. Official publications of the company were the v. Founded Mayr in 1890 and existing today “General Statistical Archive” and from 1914 to 1944 published “German Central Statistical Journal”. As a forum for discussion of scientific and organizational issues annual meetings have been introduced. Since 1928 they have organized part of the German in cooperation with the Association of Municipal Statisticians “statistical week”.

Very early dedicated the German Statistical Society the statistical higher education special attention. In the annual meetings especially demographic statistics topics were beyond, but also methodological, institutional, economic statistical and other.

After the death of v. Mayr was Friedrich Zahn, President of the Bavarian State Statistical Office and professor in Munich, 1925 his successor and it remained until 1943. Tooth was a renowned specialist, nationally and internationally recognized statisticians. From 1931 to 1936 he was also president and then honorary president of the International Statistical Institute (ISI). During his tenure, the number of members of the German Statistical Society increased rapidly from 160 to 280, and the field of the topics broadened considerably: short-term statistics, economic and epistemological questions as well as selected aspects of a census were added. Also problems of “representative method” and the ratio of statistics and mathematics were taken; However, the German statistician kept their to a critical distance. Representatives of the mathematical and statistical theory gained during this period little impact. Of the German Society for Sociology, the German Statistical Society resolved definitively in 1929.

After the seizure of power by the National Socialists unconditional direct connection of all clubs took place, as far as they did not dissolve itself. Tooth turned himself wholeheartedly to the floor of the new government and saw the statistics grow new tasks, but declared at the same time, that freedom of scientific activity of the individual members will not be affected. Remarkably, that has leaked from 1933 to 1938 more than a third of the members or “painted” has been, has been and the loss including the deaths compensated by the entry of new members.

As regards the alignment of content at this time, an adaptation to the interests of the National Socialist government is obvious. economic planning, population policy, Introduction of conscription, Erb- and racial research gave rise to statistical studies. However, they are not at all ideologically, but part of it at an alarming rate. In addition, the methodological research on statistics as a means of knowledge sat in the social sciences (Zizek, Flaskämper, Blind), Statistics and induction (Peter), Mathematics and Statistics (Burkhardt) fort. but a consistent feature of all these activities was the virtually shut oneself off from international developments.

Following the resignation tooth longtime deputy was Johannes Müller, Since the early 20s President of the Thuringian State Statistical Office and professor in Jena, until the end of the war his successor.

The reconstruction of the state system and to support the economic development in Germany after the two. World War official statistics was established very early functional again. Again there was a president of the Bavarian State Statistical Office, the newly revived the German Statistical Society: Karl Wagner. Through his initiative came in 1948 for start-up. Building on the economic- and social statistical tradition of the company aimed at Wagner, to overcome the international isolation, to close the gap in research and to include the more mathematically oriented statistics. were particularly encouraged Theory, Technology and practical applications of sampling procedures. Furthermore, committees or working groups for were “Sampling”, “training issues”, the “Application of statistical methods in industry” (Two subcommittees) and “Regionalstatistik” founded. A working group for “Statistical Quality Control” had a short life. However, membership soared after the start-up quickly to more than 400 high.

The policy group of the annual meetings now find besides the traditional areas (Higher education, official statistics, folk- and economic statistics) and sampling procedures and national accounts. next were hotly debated issues of statistical methodology in the social sciences.

When Wagner after a long illness in 1960 did not run, has been Gerhard Prince, President of the Federal Statistical Office, elected chairman, and the branch was transferred to Wiesbaden. His term lasted 12 years. In the committee's work, there were a number of extensions and consolidations. In addition, Prince introduced annual training courses, of which he has led six courses themselves during and after his term.

Even Prince's aim, to get society as a meeting place for the statisticians all directions. However, it was inevitable, that a personality like he, who had accounts essential part in the development of German official statistics after the war and the System of National Accounts, gave her character and the activities of the company. The Expressed be populist in favor- and operational issues at the annual meetings, who were content far tense and often of a general nature. Nevertheless, there were efforts, the increasing number of members from universities, at which time more and more statistical departments have been set up, to take account. So war z. B. the annual meeting dedicated 1,968 mathematical and statistical methods and their applications.

With the election of Wolfgang Wetzel Chairman of the company in 1972 acquired this – cultivated mainly in universities – Alignment statistics, a growing importance. It's Wetzel's personal merit, to have initiated the expansion of the spectrum of topics, and a corresponding change in the member structure and enforced, without curtail the scientific and professional interests of practical statistics. New impetus was Wetzel society mainly through the establishment of a “Committee for Empirical Economic Research and Applied Econometrics” and the introduction of Pentecostal meetings, very soon attractive to a lecture- and discussion forum for the coming from universities society members were. The annual meetings, however, remained important economic- dedicated and socially statistical themes.

With Wetzel but a new phase also in that in society, as has not run for re from then on every chairman after his four-year term of office, as a board member but usually once was available. These were: Hildegard Bartels, Karl-August Schaeffer, Heinz Grohmann, Siegfried healer, Joachim Frohn, Peter-Th. Wilrich, Reiner Stäglin. This has now become the norm already regular exchange has given the company considerable flexibility in the continuity. New ideas could be introduced and implemented, without them once neglected the established traditions. The number of members rose in this period to over 800.

Except Hildegard Bartels, 1972 to 1979 President of the Federal Statistical Office, were or are all university teachers, Reiner Stäglin also staff members of an economic research institute. This has strengthened the anchoring of statistical theory and econometrics in the working area of ​​the company sustainably. The themes of the annual meetings at this time, which often also were of great importance to society, demonstrate the clear. The maintenance of theoretical statistics and econometrics is preferably carried out in the relevant Committees and the Pentecostal meetings.

In the last two decades there have been a number of significant innovations and activities. Thus, the office was moved from the Federal Statistical Office on the location of the respective chairman and introduced a computerized management. For the first time published a brochure of the company was provided, here in 4. edition present. were established a “Committee on Technical Statistics”, later to such for “Statistics in Natural Science and Technology” has been extended, and a “Committee on the methodology Statistical Surveys”, connects thematically universities and official statistics particularly true. Also, an annual workshop for young researchers with senior faculty was re-created as discussants. Since 2000, the German Statistical Society is represented on the Internet.

Other activities were a “Resolution on the census” and a “Memorandum on the development of the subject Statistics at the universities in the former East Germany and East Berlin” and the successful integration of statisticians working there into society. For several years, the German Association of Demography of the Statistical Week takes part. the connections to foreign statistical companies have developed further; so coherently Statistical week in Vienna took place in 1994. In years past, the company was eventually instrumental in helping, to cause the International Statistical Institute, its World Congress in 2003 after 100 years of abstinence the first time in Germany, namely in Berlin, perform.

Not everything went in the last three decades – as well as earlier – place without controversy. Nevertheless succeeded, what global in an era of scientific, economic and social change is not obvious: All member groups, whether from official statistics, the empirical Economic- and Social Research, from universities, Business enterprises or government agencies come, see in society forum, which takes into account also their concerns. Even more: Mutual understanding and mutual respect grew significantly. Yet remains unmistakably, that the mutual mental fertilization – insight into the conditions and problems of practical statistics in research methods and the use of advanced research methods in economic- and social statistical practice – in the future, a task remains.