The use of statistical information in Ethiopia can be traced back as far as the sixteen century. However, demand for statistical information for the purpose of economic management became an issue beginning 1957. It was in 1960 that statistics was put in place as regular government activity. This marked the first step in institutionalizing statistical work in the country. The basis for the establishment was the resolution of the Addis Ababa conference of the African Statisticians from UNECA member countries in 1960.The statistical practice initiated at the time was organizationally set up within the then Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism. But in 1963, the regular statistical activities became the mandate of a newly structured and autonomous organization called Central Statistical Office (CSO).
At the beginning, CSO was responsible to the Ministry of Planning and Development and thereafter to the Planning Commission up until 1964. Then, CSO was reestablished in 1972 by proclamation number 303/1972 and was responsible for the then Planning Commission. Finally, CSO was restructured and became responsible to the Council of Ministers by the name of Central Statistical Agency, CSA, on March 9 th, 1989 . Furthermore, CSA became responsible to the Ministry of Economic Development and Cooperation on October 1996 and since September 2001 to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.