I’ve just been reading an engaging book about statistics—The Tiger That Isn’t, by Michael Blastland and Andrew Dilnot—and it’s got me thinking a little harder, as statistics always ought to, about familiar things I thought I already knew everything about.
For instance, how much do you think the mean national income was in the UK, after tax and benefits, for two childless people living as a couple in 2005/6? I’m willing to bet that many will be surprised by the answer, which is £23,000—equivalent to £11,500 each (most people I’ve tested thought it would be higher). Still, statistics are often…
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