Sweden has a long tradition of good government statistics covering many areas of society. Our population registration was built by Charles XI in the late 1600s. During the mid-1700s the first statistical reports based on the data were created by the new statistical government office, Kungliga kommissionen över tabellverket, which was the first National Statistical Office (NSO) in the world.

The first census in Sweden that had statistics as its primary purpose was carried out in 1749. Statistics Sweden, a successor of Kungliga kommissionen över tabellverket, was founded in 1858 and has served as a model for several other countries.

The research area includes not only methods for drawing samples and estimation, but also other aspects such as questionnaire design, register-based statistics, response burden, data security and privacy loss. The area also comprises utility analysis of statistics and more subject-oriented issues such as index construction and environmental balances.

A leader within official statistics

Stockholm University has long been a leader in Sweden within the scientific field of official statistics. During the 20th century, many internationally known researchers such as like Gustav Sundbärg, Erland Hofsten and Tore Dalenius have been active at the department. Jan Wretman is one of the authors of the international standard work on current sample survey theory: Model Assisted Survey Sampling.

Lars Lyberg has written or been editor of several books on various problems in data collection, including Introduction to Survey Quality, co-authored with Paul Biemer. Lars Lyberg is also active in a committee overseeing the European Union wide survey on living conditions.

Founder of Journal of Statistics

In 1985, Lars Lyberg founded the internationally renowned Journal of Official Statistics. He remained editor for the journal for more than 20 years. Two members of staff at the Department, Michael Carlson and Hans Nyquist, currently serve as Associate Editors and other staff often serve as referees of manuscripts sent to Journal of Official Statistics.

Karin Dahmström wrote the textbook on the subject used in virtually all Swedish universities (Swedish title: Från datainsamling till rapport: att göra en statistisk undersökning).

At the Department, we have also studied other problems in connection to official statistics and other statistics production, such as analysis of survey data, data collection with varying selection probabilities, calibration, outlier adjustment and hard-to-survey populations.

The Department also participated in the production of a Swedish standard for the reporting of nonresponse in surveys. Lars-Erik Öller has studied the quality of flash estimates, preliminary statistics and statistical revisions.

Since about 1970, we have seen a broad widening of the research which now covers a very broad collection methods and a large amount of knowledge from different disciplines such as computer science, econometrics, psychology and sociology. The research area is thus now very large.

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