Thursday 9 May 2019

Junk Statistics 7

Shocking statistic from John Gray, Emeritus Professor of European Thought at the LSE: “Today only around 4% of MPs come from working-class family backgrounds." (@neilwallis1)

The decision in 1997 by the WHO to move the BMI number at which “overweight” and “obese” began downwards by two points to 25... created the idea of a sudden runaway problem. Millions were made fat overnight. Anyone with a BMI over 25 was classified as “pre-obese”. (Times Jan 2019)

Apparently a 6ft tall person is likely to earn £100,000 more in a 30-year career than someone who is 5ft 4in. ( Person? Or man?)

76.3% of statistics are made up on the spot.
(But that's OK, because 88.9% of people don't believe them.)


Livestock are responsible for a third of all greenhouse-gas emissions. (It’s 5%.)

Only 6% of UK firms trade with the EU. ( says 78% of trade is done with the EU.)
60% of Londoners are immigrants.

Sales of instant noodles are up 50% in the past three months. But teen pregnancies have fallen 50% in the past 10 years. (2018 July, BBC News)

One in three victims of domestic violence is male, according to a 2017 study by Mankind Initiative, a charity helping men escape domestic violence. (Daily Telegraph)

According to the Crime Survey of England and Wales, men make up 31% of those aged 16 and 74 who report having experienced domestic abuse at some point since they were 16. Of those surveyed, 29% of women and 13% of men aged 16 to 59 said they'd experienced some form of domestic abuse since the age of 16. (

It is ironic that the perceived solution to New Zealand’s disastrous adoption of whole language approach to reading instruction (resulting in 20% of 6 year olds requiring intervention) was Reading Recovery. Talk about putting out the fire with gasoline. (@TheReadingApe)

The number of working class people in publishing, film, TV and radio is 12%; in music, performing and visual arts it's 18.2%. Just 4% of the film and music sectors are from BAME communities. The odds of someone with middle-class parents ending up in a job in the cultural sector are four times the odds of someone from a working-class family - and little has changed in the last 40 years. (Tom Watson)

Half of all UK homicides in 2018 related to domestic abuse.

Across the world, an average of 137 women every day are killed by a partner or family member.
Twice as many women than men are blood donors.
Cohabitation gives no legal rights, even though nearly half of us think it does.

Women are more likely to be killed at work by a domestic partner than by any other cause. In 2015 and 2016, about 40% of the women killed at work were slain by a relative or partner, compared with 2% of men, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics [in the US].

There are 18,600,000 vacant homes in the US (figures from Feb 2014). Every night, 600,000 Americans have nowhere to sleep.

In 2019, kids spend more time online than watching TV. (There’s more content, and they’re in control.)

In 2018:
1 in 14 have used a Food bank
4m kids in poverty
1.8m pensioners in poverty
100 ESA claimants die daily
1,000 Sure Starts axed
Council budgets cut 50%
Rough sleeping up 134%
1m disability benefit sanctions

In the UK, 7 people a year are killed by cows. (According to figures from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), 74 people have been killed by cows in the past 15 years. Dogs, meanwhile, have killed 17 people in the last eight years, according to NHS figures obtained by The Daily Telegraph. Independent, 2015)

Half of new-build luxury London flats fail to sell, but there are 420 towers in the pipeline, says the Guardian (Aug 2018).

Young today drink less, fight less, have less unprotected sex than older generations. (@benatipsosmori)

Children in England are smoking less, drinking less, and taking fewer drugs.
Guitar sales have dropped by a third over the past decade.

Young males are driving 50% less than they did in the mid-90s. (Young people say: Better buses, buses cheaper.)

And car sales are down – for some reason.

A 2011 Gallup poll found that Americans, on average, think 25% of the country is homosexual. Research says 2 percent, tops.

At least 62 free schools, university technical colleges and studio schools have failed, at a cost of £138.5m.

99% of foreign objects found in food were put there by the finder.

Australia confiscated 650,000 guns, and murders and suicides plummeted.

EU migrants are 45% less likely than UK nationals to claim benefits.

A Yougov poll showed that students are no more hostile to free speech than the general public.

The Tories benefit sanctions regime costs the taxpayer £153 million more a year to run than it saves. (Daily Record)

There are now more churches in the UK than there were in 2008.
2008 total number of churches 49,727
2013 total number of churches 50,660
2020 estimated number of churches 51,275
1,750 mosques in UK
(Versus “There are 460 mosques in London and 500 churches have shut, therefore the UK is now a Muslim state.")

IPSOS Mori surveyed perceptions in 38 countries.
Murder rates are down, but only 7% think so.
Deaths from terrorist attacks have fallen in the last 15 years, only 19% think so.
Average guess for how many prisoners are immigrants is 28% – it’s 15%.

Teenage pregnancy is overestimated across the world. Average guess is 20% of teenage girls giving birth – it’s 2%. In some countries the perception is that half of teenage girls have children – the highest figure in any country is 6.7%.

Six in ten think there’s a link between vaccines and autism.
Russia is the most alcoholic nation? They come seventh , Belgium comes top.
75% have a Facebook account? It’s 46%.
But the US really does consume the most sugar.

In the UK:
11.8% of prisoners were born abroad, not 34%.
One in 70 teenage girls give birth, not one in five.
5%, not 27%, of Britons have diabetes.We assume others are exaggerating their illnesses, but 74% say their health is good.
69%, not 81%, of Britons own a smartphone.58%, not 74%, of Britons have a Facebook account.
We’re a bit less alcoholic and sugar-addicted than we imagine, compared to other countries.
21%, not 38%, believe in Hell. 39%, not 43%, believe in God.

Our perceptions of suicide are nearer the truth: 21% of deaths of women 15-24, 28.4% of male deaths in the same age range.

Despite the claim being widely discredited, 55% think there’s a link between vaccines and autism, or are not sure.

Q: What is gender bias?
A: Women are 50% of law grads, 36% of practicing attorneys, 25% of judges, and 2% of U.S. Attorney nominees. (But there is no gender pay gap, because reasons.)

More here, and links to the rest.

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