States and statistics in the nineteenth century

Europe by numbers

By Nico Randeraad

States and statistics in the nineteenth century

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-8142-2
  • Pages: 224
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £85.00
  • Published Date: June 2010
  • BIC Category: Humanities / European history, Society & social sciences / Public administration, HISTORY / Europe / General, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Affairs & Administration, Europe, European history, History, Modern History


In this fascinating study, Nico Randeraad vividly describes the turbulent history of statistics in nineteenth century Europe. The book deals not only with developments in the large states of Western Europe, but gives equal attention to small states (Belgium, the Netherlands, Hungary) and to the declining Habsburg Empire and Tsarist Russia.

Then, unlike today, statistics constituted a comprehensive science, which stemmed from the idea that society, just like nature, was governed by laws. In order to discover these laws, everything had to be counted. What could be counted, could be solved: crime, poverty, suicide, prostitution, illness, and many other threats to bourgeois society. The statisticians, often trained as jurists, economists and doctors, saw themselves as pioneers of a better future.

Offering an original perspective on the tensions between universalism and the rise of the nation-state in the nineteenth century, this book will appeal to historians, statisticians, and social scientists in general.


1. The first meeting: Brussels 1853
2. All the world's a stage: Paris 1855
3. The expansion of Europe: Vienna 1857
4. On waves of passion: London 1860
5. The German phoenix: Berlin 1863
6. Nationalism unbounded: Florence 1867
7. Small gestures in a big world: The Hague 1869
8. 'Sadder and wiser': St Petersburg 1872 and Budapest 1876
Archives, published sources and bibliography


Nico Randeraad is Lecturer in History and European Studies at Maastricht University

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