German Statistical Society

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The German Statistical Society (DStatG) is a scientific association in Germany. The company's events, the activities of its committees and the publications are aimed at supporting statistics with its various fields of activity - method development, data collection, data processing and data analysis - as well as their mutual interaction. The DStatG sees itself as a link between producers and users of statistics. It also endeavors to promote the reputation of statistics in politics and the public. It was founded in 1911.

Activities and goals

The aim of the German Statistical Society is to promote scientific progress in the development of statistical methods and their implementation in practice. The German Statistical Society sees itself as a link between producers and users of data and statistical methods.

The company organizes scientific conferences and advanced training events. It publishes two scientific journals and issues other publications . In addition to the scientific exchange, she pays special attention to training in statistics and the design of the information infrastructure. It gives its opinion on fundamental and current issues relating to the field and participates in the statistical advisory board of the Federal Statistical Office . It promotes international cooperation through contacts and special cooperation agreements with foreign statistical societies and the International Statistical Institute . The German Statistical Society is a founding member of the German Statistics Working Group (DAGStat), in which other specialist societies dealing with statistics work together. As part of the DAGStat, she participates in their large joint conferences, for the first time in the conference “Statistics under one roof” in 2007 in Bielefeld .

Regular events

  • Statistical week
  • Junior workshop
  • Wiesbaden Scientific Colloquium
  • DAGStat - Conference
  • Pentecost meeting


The AStA - General Statistical Archive, founded in 1890, covered the company's range of activities. It published articles ranging from pure research articles to discussions about the social impact of statistics.

All these areas of statistics have now grown to such an extent that it is difficult, if not impossible, to cover them in a single journal. The society has therefore decided to publish two journals from 2007, AStA - Advances in Statistical Analysis and AStA - Economic and Social Statistics Archive, which together will continue the tradition of the original journal. While the Economic and Social Statistics Archive deals with topics from economic and social statistics as well as those about the social significance of statistics, the Advances in Statistical Analysis are devoted to the theory and methods of statistics.

  • AStA - Economic and Social Statistics Archive
  • AStA - Advances in Statistical Analysis



The German Statistical Society was founded in 1911 as a section of the German Society for Sociology , which had previously separated from the Association for Socialpolitik , in which the most renowned German economists , sociologists and statisticians were united. This history points to the fact that the German Statistical Society was completely oriented towards the application field economy and society in its beginnings.

The first chairman was the head of the Royal Bavarian Statistical Office, Georg von Mayr , who was also professor for economics, finance and statistics at the University of Munich . The company's publication organs were those of v. Mayr founded the "General Statistical Archive", which was founded in 1890 and still exists today, and the "Deutsche Statistische Zentralblatt" published from 1914 to 1944. Annual meetings were introduced as a forum for discussing scientific and organizational issues. Since 1928 they have been part of the “Statistical Week” organized in cooperation with the Association of German City Statisticians.

Very early on, the German Statistical Society paid particular attention to statistical university teaching. In addition, the annual meetings mainly dealt with topics relating to population statistics, but also methodological, institutional, economic statistics and others.


After the death of v. Mayrs succeeded Friedrich Zahn, President of the Bavarian State Statistical Office and professor in Munich, in 1925 and remained so until 1943. Zahn was a professionally renowned, nationally and internationally recognized statistician. From 1931 to 1936 he was both President and then Honorary President of the International Statistical Institute (ISI). During his term of office, the number of members of the German Statistical Society increased rapidly from 160 to 280, and the field of topics covered expanded considerably: short-term, business and epistemological issues as well as selected aspects of a census were added. Problems of the “representative method” and the relationship between statistics and mathematics were also taken up; however, the German statisticians kept a critical distance from it. Representatives of the mathematical-statistical theory gained hardly any influence during this time. The German Statistical Society finally broke away from the German Society for Sociology in 1929.

After the seizure of power by the National Socialists unconditional done Gleichschaltung of all clubs, provided they did not dissolve itself. Zahn personally accepted the new government unreservedly and saw new tasks being added to statistics, but at the same time declared that the free scientific activity of the individual members would not be impaired. It is noteworthy that between 1933 and 1938 over a third of the members resigned or were “deleted”, and the loss, including those who died, was compensated for by the entry of new members.

As far as the content is concerned at this time, an adjustment to the interests of the National Socialist government is obvious. Economic planning, population policy , the introduction of compulsory military service , genetic and racial research gave rise to statistical studies. However, they are by no means all ideologically influenced, but some of them are terrifying. In addition, methodological research continued on statistics as a means of knowledge in the social sciences (Zizek, Flaskämper, Blind), statistics and induction (Peter), mathematics and statistics (Burkhardt). A constant feature of all these activities was the almost total isolation from international developments.


After Zahn's resignation, his long-time deputy Johannes Müller, who had been President of the Thuringian State Statistical Office and professor in Jena since the early 1920s, was his successor until the end of the war.

In order to rebuild the state order and to support the economic development in Germany after the Second World War , the official statistics were re-established functional very early. Once again it was a President of the Bavarian State Statistical Office who revitalized the German Statistical Society: Karl Wagner . His initiative led to the re-establishment in 1948. Following up on the societal tradition of economic and social statistics, Wagner sought to overcome international isolation, to catch up in research, and to include statistics that are more mathematically oriented. Theory, technology and practical application of sampling procedures were particularly encouraged . In addition, committees or working groups were set up for “sampling procedures”, “training issues”, “application of statistical methods in industry” (with two sub-committees) and “regional statistics”. A working group for "statistical quality control" only had a short life. The number of members rose to over 400 after the re-establishment.

In addition to the traditional areas (university teaching, official statistics, economic and business statistics), sample procedures and national accounts are now also part of the topics of the annual meetings. Questions of statistical methodology in the social sciences were also controversial.


When Wagner no longer ran after a long illness in 1960, Gerhard Fürst , President of the Federal Statistical Office, was elected chairman and the office was relocated to Wiesbaden . His term of office also lasted 12 years. There have been a number of expansions and consolidations in committee work. In addition, Fürst introduced annual advanced training courses, six of which he taught himself during and after his tenure.

Fürst also pursued the goal of maintaining society as a meeting place for statisticians of all directions. Nevertheless, it was inevitable that a personality like him, who had played a major role in the development of German official statistics after the war and the system of national accounts, also shaped the activities of society. This was expressed in the preference for economic and business topics at the annual meetings, which were broad in content and often of a fundamental nature. Nevertheless, efforts were made to take account of the increasing number of members from the universities, at which more and more statistical chairs were established at that time. So was z. B. the 1968 annual meeting dedicated to mathematical-statistical methods and their applications.


With the election of Wolfgang Wetzel as chairman of the society in 1972, this orientation of the statistics - which is cultivated especially in the universities - gained increasing importance. It is Wetzel's personal merit to have initiated and implemented this expansion of the range of topics and a corresponding change in the membership structure without curtailing the scientific and professional interests of practical statistics. Wetzel gave the society new impetus primarily through the establishment of a "Committee for Empirical Economic Research and Applied Econometrics " and the introduction of the Whitsun conferences, which soon became a lecture and discussion forum for members of society coming from the universities. The annual meetings, however, were devoted to important economic and social statistical topics.

With Wetzel, however, a new phase in society also begins insofar as from then on, each chairman did not run again after his four-year term of office, but was usually available again as a board member. They were Hildegard Bartels , Karl-August Schäffer , Heinz Grohmann , Siegfried Heiler, Joachim Frohn, Peter-Th. Wilrich , Reiner Stäglin. This regular change, which has now become the norm, has given the company considerable flexibility in terms of continuity. The number of members rose to over 800 during this time.

With the exception of Hildegard Bartels, President of the Federal Statistical Office from 1972 to 1979, all of them were or are university professors, and Reiner Stäglin also worked full-time in an economic research institute. This has firmly anchored statistical theory and econometrics in the field of society. The topics of the annual meetings during this time, which were often of great social importance at the same time, clearly demonstrate this. Theoretical statistics and econometrics are preferably maintained in the responsible committees and at the Whitsun conferences.

There have been a number of innovations and activities over the past two decades. The office was moved from the Federal Statistical Office to the location of the respective chairman and IT-supported administration was introduced. For the first time an information leaflet was made available by the company, the 4th edition of which is here. A “Committee for Technical Statistics” was newly established, which was later expanded to become a “Committee for the Methodology of Statistical Surveys”, which connects universities and official statistics to a special degree. An annual workshop for young researchers with high-ranking lecturers as discussants was also created. The German Statistical Society has been represented on the Internet since 2000.

Other activities included a “resolution on the population census” and a “memorandum on the development of statistics at universities in the new federal states and East Berlin” as well as the integration of the statisticians working there into society. For several years now, the German Society for Demography has been taking part in the Statistical Week, which the DStatG organizes together with the Association of German City Statisticians (VDSt). The links to foreign statistical societies were also developed; In connection with this, the Statistical Week took place in Vienna in 1994. In the past, the Society played a key role in getting the International Statistical Institute to hold its 2003 World Congress in Germany again, in Berlin.

honors and awards

  • Young talent mini-symposium
  • Wolfgang Wetzel Prize
  • Heinz Grohmann lecture
  • Gumbel lecture

Web links