Five things I love about Statistics New Zealand

What’s not to love about Statistics New Zealand? Here are a few things they do that I like:

1.  Publish under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 New Zealand copyright license (so we are free to use and share content as long as we say where it came from). This is great: a publicly funded organisation which collects information about New Zealanders is sharing that information freely with New Zealanders.

2. Offer emails that let you know when statistics are going to be released and the key points of each release when it happens. Sign up for these here.

3. Often win Writemark Plain English awards — which means they make a real effort to write in an accessible way.

4. Have a whole lot of historical data online:

19th-century statistical publications Nineteenth-century statistical publications held in Statistics NZ library
Census: 1871–1916 Census of Population and Dwellings reports and results from 1871 to 1916
Yearbook collection: 1893–2010 The New Zealand Official Yearbook from 1893 to 2010

5. Do some nice infographics. An early one  celebrates 120 years of women’s suffrage in New Zealand (September 19, 2013) and was created in partnership with the Ministry of Women’s Affairs. It points out, among other things, that the average number of children a woman had in 1893 was 5, in 1953 it was 4, and in 2013 it’s 2.

Graphic of 120 years of women's suffrage

The graphic also lists notable firsts for women holding Government positions. Among them now is  Liz MacPherson, who in 2013 become New Zealand’s first woman Government Statistician.