Thursday 8 May 2014

Junk Statistics? Part 4

Dinner for one
These seem quite trustworthy:

Britons are paying a heavy price for their independence, according to a new study (Rosemary Bennett writes). The number of Britons living alone has doubled in 40 years to 87 million, as people marry later or not at all, get divorced and live longer. A young person aged between 20 and 30 today is likely to spend 15 years living alone. Those who live alone pay on average £2,000 a year more on household bills than couples. Their financial security is also precarious. A quarter of solo dwellers would run out of savings within a fortnight if they lost their job. Mortgage payments or rent account for £1,392 a year more than for a couple, but while couples will have £6,000 in savings, a single person will have just £2,000 according to a study by LV, an insurance company. (The Times, May 8 2014)

The dramatic drop in religious affiliation in the U.S. since 1990 is closely mirrored by the increase in Internet use (MIT Technology Review)

100,000 wolves are thought to have been killed in British India between 1871 and 1916

In 99.6% of occupations, men are earning more than women.

Australia apologised for an adoption rate of 60% among single mothers in late 1960s. In Ireland, the figure for 1967 was 97%. (

Opposition to the death penalty has doubled in the US. 1996; 18% opposed 2013; 37% opposed 2010.

Of the attempted suicides by women leading to A&E admission, 80 a day are attributable to domestic violence & almost 30 a day have DV as the primary cause.

1 in 6 women are abused verbally/physically/emotionally every day in Saudi Arabia. (@saudi_gazette)

For four of the last five years the numbers of children enrolled in fee-paying schools in the UK have fallen to just over 500,000. Part of the reason for the fall is that the average annual private school fee is now £14,000, and one of the reasons it is so high is because the numbers are dropping. (Guardian Feb 2014)

75% of Irish peat is burned in Irish power stations. Most of the rest is used by commercial growers, hardly any by gardeners.

47% of NE England's front gardens are paved.

Universal Credit: 0.2% of original target has been met.

Pregnancy, birth and abortion rates for US teens have all hit a record low.
(say figures from 2010-12)

10,000 people live on the canals and rivers of the UK.

0.2% of EU migrants claim benefits.

Attendance at Church of England services is falling.

More people are in slavery today than at any time in human history.  (The Week)

Less reliable
In a survey, 100% of respondents thought other people should pay more tax.

For every dollar men earn, women earn 77 cents.

One in four children are not the offspring of their supposed fathers. (…though nonpaternity rates of 10 percent and higher have routinely been cited in studies and textbooks, these numbers turn out to have little solid data behind them. Among the estimated rates they found: More than 30% — obtained from a researcher's remarks at a 1972 symposium on medical ethics, referring to a study (apparently conducted decades earlier in a single English town) that was never completed, much less published. 20 to 30% — from another aging and unpublished UK study; and 7 to 14% — from a 1990 study that relied (as later researchers would point out) not on any biology-based testing but on self-reporting by readers of a British women's magazine on the frequency and timing of their off-the-books intercourse. Update: 8% of British fathers say that they have been unsure of their child’s paternity. Or 10%? (2014-02-23)

In the late 18th century between 30% and 40% of brides were pregnant on their big day, says History Today, apparently.

Study shows that the world is made up of 1.1 Billion Non-Religious people!!! (KDS ‏@Yankeefan1972)

The Netherlands exports more soy sauce than Japan. (via Bek Hobbes)

As many as half of all pregnancies may end in miscarriage—we don’t know the exact number because many may happen before a woman knows she’s pregnant.

More here, and links to the rest.

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