March 4, 2013

Stat of the Week Competition: March 2 – 8 2013

Each week, we would like to invite readers of Stats Chat to submit nominations for our Stat of the Week competition and be in with the chance to win an iTunes voucher.

Here’s how it works:

  • Anyone may add a comment on this post to nominate their Stat of the Week candidate before midday Friday March 8 2013.
  • Statistics can be bad, exemplary or fascinating.
  • The statistic must be in the NZ media during the period of March 2 – 8 2013 inclusive.
  • Quote the statistic, when and where it was published and tell us why it should be our Stat of the Week.

Next Monday at midday we’ll announce the winner of this week’s Stat of the Week competition, and start a new one.

The fine print:

  • Judging will be conducted by the blog moderator in liaison with staff at the Department of Statistics, The University of Auckland.
  • The judges’ decision will be final.
  • The judges can decide not to award a prize if they do not believe a suitable statistic has been posted in the preceeding week.
  • Only the first nomination of any individual example of a statistic used in the NZ media will qualify for the competition.
  • Individual posts on Stats Chat are just the opinions of their authors, who can criticise anyone who they feel deserves it, but the Stat of the Week award involves the Department of Statistics more officially. For that reason, we will not award Stat of the Week for a statistic coming from anyone at the University of Auckland outside the Statistics department. You can still nominate and discuss them, but the nomination won’t be eligible for the prize.
  • Employees (other than student employees) of the Statistics department at the University of Auckland are not eligible to win.
  • The person posting the winning entry will receive a $20 iTunes voucher.
  • The blog moderator will contact the winner via their notified email address and advise the details of the $20 iTunes voucher to that same email address.
  • The competition will commence Monday 8 August 2011 and continue until cancellation is notified on the blog.

Rachel Cunliffe is the co-director of CensusAtSchool and currently consults for the Department of Statistics. Her interests include statistical literacy, social media and blogging. See all posts by Rachel Cunliffe »


  • avatar
    Eva Laurenson

    Statistic: “What is the risk?” graph relating to the article “Aucklanders ‘ignoring risk'”.
    Source: NZ Herald, bottom of page A18
    Date: Tuesday March the 5th

    I just don’t understand what this graph is trying to tell me. I guess it’s designed to support an article about Aucklanders ignorance towards the need for reinforcement of buildings in case of an earthquake. I don’t think it does this effectively. The title of the graph is “Selected causes of fatalities – Average annual individual fatality risk in the NZ resident population”. From that I would assume that they took data relating to reported deaths from all the listed causes they have, categorized the deaths into the different age groups they have on the x axis and from there averaged out their calculated ‘risk’ of that particular cause across the years of data they looked at. There’s a few no brainers like the grey line showing as the age category increases past 25-44, the risk of an accidental fall increases. What I really don’t understand is the inclusion of the Christchurch earthquake data. It was a one off event so I don’t see how it provides comparison to the ‘ average annual risk’ of all these other possible causes of fatalities. And lastly ( side note) where does this data come from? The Source is 2008, Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment but the earthquake data seems to cover 1858-2011. Do all the other fatalities represent data covering this range of years?

    (Update by Thomas Lumley: here’s the graph)

    5 years ago

  • avatar
    Nick Iversen

    Statistic: The science, you see, appears irrefutable. And we have to bow to science. Boffins at the University of Otago have tested the blood of 3000 randomly chosen people over the age of 15.

    Seven per cent of them had diabetes. That’s over 200 people. A further 18 per cent had early signs of diabetes. That’s over 500 people. Together, they’re more than a quarter of the people tested. That’s an epidemic.
    Source: DomPost
    Date: 6 March 2013

    Joe Bennett is one of my favourite columists and when he comments on a statistical story it’s a double treat.

    5 years ago