Friday 15 November 2013

Junk Statistics? Part 3

More girls apply to uni

Alcohol is detectable in the fingers 45 seconds after passing the lips. 

“We hate math”, say 4 in 10 – a majority of Americans. (Joke headline?)

Women now make up nearly half of the CIA. (

[We think] 30% of people in this country were born abroad (it’s about 11%). (Guardian)

0.7% of benefits claims are fraudulent (BBC, Guardian, DWP figures)

Rowntree Foundation unable to find single instance of 3 generations having lived on benefits. (@Philip_Goff)

Shapps/Green/Fox claimed 1 million people on disability benefits dropped claims rather than face medicals. Official figures show 19,700 did. (May 31 2013, James O'Brien ‏@mrjamesob)

Benefit Figures: 42.3% old 20.8% poor 18.4% family 15.5% sick/disabled 2.6% unemployed.

Public think £24 in £100 is fraudulently claimed in benefits. Official estimate 70p.

We think 31% of population are immigrants - actually proportion is 13-15%.

The public believe 24% of uk population is now Muslim. Actual figure = 5%.

We over-estimate teenage pregnancy 25-fold…  only 0.6 % of under 16s have babies. (All via @benatipsosmori)

46% say anecdote and own eyes better judge of public services than statistics. Only 9% say would use stats! (@benatipsosmori)

The DWP publishes official estimates of fraud in the welfare system. The most recent publication estimated overall fraud at 0.7% of the benefits bill. At £1.2bn, that sum might – just – be said to count as "billions". But we should remember benefits can be underpaid as well as overpaid – and last year, those underpayments (arising from errors by either officials or claimants) added up to £1.3bn – more than the cost of fraud.

According to figures from the government and the Bank of England, the UK's manufacturing sector is bigger than its financial services sector. Manufacturing contributes around 11% of GDP, versus around 9% from the City. Contrary to what you might think, the biggest sector isn't heavy engineering (though there is plenty of that), but food and drink manufacture.

Despite the country's reputation as a "green and pleasant land", though, the UK doesn't grow that much: agriculture contributes less than 1% to GDP. (Guardian)

At least 20 children a year take their lives because they are being bullied.

70% of nonfiction books are ghostwritten. (

The average woman hopes to get married at 27 and have first baby at 28, men ditto 2 years later, happens on average at 30 and 32. (Poll Times Sept 2013)

For every four girls who apply to uni, three boys apply. (Sunday Times Aug 2013)

There’s a site that shows gender distribution, average salary, average age, average house price for every town in the US.

45% of first marriages end in divorce, compared with 31% for second ones.

Women enjoy an annual income premium up to $18,152 a year if they wait until 30 or later to marry;
By the age of 25, 44% of women have had their first child;
52% of married men report they are “highly satisfied” with their life, compared to 35% of single men.
(The Relate Institute/National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia)

Men feel worse about themselves when their wives/girlfriends succeed.

75% of Italian women murdered between 2000 and 2012 (total: 2,200) were killed by partners or former partners. (

One in ten emergency calls are about domestic violence. (Guardian, May 22 2013)

Rate of alcohol-related hospital admissions in England doubles in a decade (Centre for Social Justice report Sept 1 2013)

Figures revealed deaths involving "legal highs" in England and Wales increased from 29 in 2011 to 52 last year (Centre for Social Justice report Sept 1 2013)

About 40% of full time college students don't drink. (@OMGFacts)

57% of people think they should “fight pain for as long as possible before taking non-prescription treatment” ie painkiller. (Mintel survey reported by Times Aug 2013)

1 in 4 Young Adults Regret Social Media Posts, Survey Says (

The number of tanning salons in the UK has fallen by 29% in 2012-13. Sales of fake tanning products have fallen by 20.8%.

In the 70s, women earned 45% less than men for the same job.

The US Department of Veterans’ Affairs processes 97% of its claims by hand. (Yes, on paper. And the magazine Private Eye is still typed on typewriters and pasted up, and Jobcentres don’t have the internet.)

In the 1970s there were 600 murders per year in the UK. Now there are 550. Bloody computer games, reducing violent crime... (@BarnabyEdwards)

25% of the UK's 600 MPs are women.

The increase in women who drive is reasonably well correlated with a decrease in the road traffic accident rate. (@MrBLawton/Brian Lawton)

Cost to the NHS of smoking related illness £1.7Bn pa. (NHS figures)

"Health tourism is a huge problem", say Ministers. In reality, it costs the NHS 0.15% of NHS spending. (Dave Jones ‏@welsh_gas_doc )

X% of productivity is lost in the US thru heavy drinking, excessive commuting, Facebook, coffee breaks yada yada yada.

37% of the internet is made up of pornographic material. (Outdated, unreliable stat says net filtering firm Optenet. Academics say that only 4% of the internet is porn.)

30% of all net traffic is generated by porn sites, says Extreme Tech using dubious methods and maths.

We learn most of our vocabulary before we’re 18. (Lucy Mangan And spend the rest of our lives complaining about all these ghastly new words.)

People with longer names earn less money.

More here.
And you can find reliable statistics at

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