Saturday, April 18, 2009

Lies, Damn Lies , and Statistics

Grr... I have a moan about The Scotsman's search facilities. When I was writing my last post I spotted an article which I left in a window and lost because my browser crashed so yesterday I spent hours trying to find it. It wasn't that important but it seemed ridiculous it couldn't be traced. So instead of an item including comment about glamourous celebrities this post is about boring statistics instead.

It was former rector of Glasgow University and Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli who was attributed with the phrase "Lies, damned lies, and statistics." and earlier in the week Registrar General Duncan MacNiven revealed the actual number of divorces for last year was 11,538 not 9,333 as previously stated. As I said in this post the provisional statistics for 2008 indicated there was a drop of 25% in the number of divorces in Scotland last year. The new figure shows there was still a fall in the divorce rate but the drop was much smaller than previously thought. A fall in the number of divorces was expected last year because the introduction of the Family Law (Scotland) 2006 reduced separation periods before divorce.

Apparently the mistake of 2,205 was discovered when examining a "relatively minor problem" at a smaller court. This reminded me of a "relatively minor problem" for me many years ago was when a nurse put a patients name in the wrong column and I notified the local registrar of a death. For two days I was wondering the 1,000 bedded hospital trying to make the hospital figures balance when it came to light the 'dead' patient was eating scrambled eggs on the ward. I would love to know how the courts managed to lose over 2,000 divorces.

Full story Source The Herald

Finally, on the subject of numbers I see according to The Scotsman here Scotland's First Minister was stumped by numbers and couldn't answer divide 24 by zero despite having a MA degree in economics and history .


Fiona 20 April, 2009 17:34  

Sorry, my warped sense of humour. Just to clarify if Alex Salmond is wrong the electronics industry would be up the spout. :)

  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by 2008 © Rosemary Slessor

Back to TOP