Monday, March 25, 2013

headline of the day

Stand by for a bit more fuckwitted Daily Mail innumeracy. What's wrong with this headline?

The answer, of course, is that the claim in the headline is immediately refuted by the bar graph displayed just below it - with 75 suicide deaths per 1 million people compared with 27 for black people, white people are in fact around 2.78 times more likely to kill themselves. That's still an interesting statistic, as is the one on the other side of the centre-line, i.e. that black people are ten times as likely to die at the wrong end of a gun held by someone else (and a little under twice as likely to die for gun-related reasons overall). The "five times" bit that the headline-writer presumably got his number from is that white people are five times more likely to suffer a gun-related death at their own hands than at the hands of others. Again, an interesting statistic, but not the one the headline claims, because no such statistic exists.

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