Wednesday, March 15, 2006

How hard is it to present statistics in context?

"Statistics New Zealand reported in June that the average annual gross income for a household was $65,520 a year.

After-tax incomes of $70,000 and $80,000 among those living in state houses were "not uncommon," Mr Heatley said."

http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3603795a11,00.html

Having a strong statistical background (and in fact earning some of my income through exploiting how people don't understand statistics) things like this really p*ss me off. Can't the papers do a story without changing the interpretation through deliberatly misleading statistics?


The above really should read:

"Statistics New Zealand reported in June that the average annual net income for a household was $48697 a year.

After-tax incomes of $70,000 and $80,000 among those living in state houses were "not uncommon," Mr Heatley said."

Gosh - makes slightly different reading eh?

2 comments:

burt said...

Hey I borrowed your calculation for my own blog entry on this, with a different spin of course.

iiq374 said...

Saw that this morning and smiled
Glad to be of help ;-)