The History of statistics can be said to start around 1749 although, over time, there have been changes to the interpretation of the word statistics. In early times, the meaning was restricted to information about states. This was later extended to include all collections of information of all types, and later still it was extended to include the analysis and interpretation of such data. In modern terms, "statistics" means both sets of collected information, as in national accounts and temperature records, and analytical work which require statistical inference. Statistical activities are often associated with models expressed using probabilities, and require probability theory for them to be put on a firm theoretical basis: see History of probability. A number of statistical concepts have had an important impact on a wide range of sciences. These include the experiments and approaches to statistical inference such as Bayesian inference, each of which can be considered to have their own sequence in the development of the ideas underlying modern statistics. The term statistics is ultimately derived from the New Latin statisticum collegium ("council of state") and the Italian word statista ("statesman" or "politician"). The German Statistik, first introduced by Gottfried Achenwall (1749), originally designated the analysis of data about the state, signifying the "science of state" (then called political arithmetic in English). It acquired the meaning of the collection and classification of data generally in the early 19th century. It was introduced into English in 1791 by Sir John Sinclair when he published the first of 21 volumes titled Statistical Account of Scotland. Thus, the original principal purpose of Statistik was data to be used by governmental and (often centralized) administrative bodies. The collection of data about states and localities continues, largely through national and international statistical services. In particular, censuses provide...

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