This Q150 Statistical Story summarises the type of statistics collected prior to the national census. From 1824 information was provided on a monthly and annual basis by the Commandant of Moreton Bay. The annual statistics from across the country were then compiled to form the Blue Books. However, once private settlement began in the 1840s, vital statistics (i.e. births, deaths and marriages) depended on the clergy while agricultural statistics were collected by the police. During the 1850s the Registrar-General was appointed, and the Statistical Returns Bill was introduced into Parliament on 21 October 1896 to ‘enable statistics to be collected with more system and more accuracy’. Between 1996 and 1998, OESR prepared the publication Queensland Past and Present: 100 Years of Statistics, 1896-1996 to celebrate the centenary.