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Efforts to institutionalise the collection and dissemination of statistical information began in 1891, when the first population census in the country, then called the Gold Coast, was conducted. Several decades hence, in 1948, after the end of World War II, the Office of the Government Statistician was established. The functions of the Office continued to evolve and, in 1961, the Office of the Government Statistician was expanded and renamed as the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS).

Under the Statistics Service Law, GSS is an autonomous body with a Board of Directors who report directly to the Office of the President. The role of the Ghana Statistical Service is broadly defined as being responsible for the collection and analysis of statistical data.

In 1985, the Statistical Service Law (PNDC Law 135) established the Statistical Service, which instrument had the effect of raising the status of the Central Bureau of Statistics from a Government Department under a Ministry to that of an autonomous, independent public service. The Law also established the Statistical Service Board as the governing body that reports to the presidency.

Relevance, impartiality and equal access Official statistics provide an indispensable element in the information system of a democratic society, serving the government, the economy and the public with data about the economic, demographic, social and environmental situation. To this end, official statistics that meet the test of practical utility are to be compiled and made available on an impartial basis by official statistical agencies to honour citizens' entitlement to public information.