August 25, 2014

Stat of the Week Competition: August 23 – 29 2014

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 August 29 2014.
  • Statistics can be bad, exemplary or fascinating.
  • The statistic must be in the NZ media during the period of August 23 – 29 2014 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
    Scott Wernham

    Statistic: In the past five years, the total area reported by farmers that could have been irrigated in Canterbury increased by nearly 60,000 hectares.
    Source: Statistics NZ – Agriculture Production Survey
    Date: 13 May 2013

    With clean water being politically topical, reliable statistics on this subject are important.

    3 years ago

  • avatar
    Marion Steel

    Statistic: “The UK population: 7% attended a private school; >1% graduated from Oxford or Cambridge…”
    Source: Headline pg A22 NZ Herald print edition
    Date: Friday August 29th, 2014

    This is an attention grabbing red headline to an article about the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission’s report on Elitist Britain. There was nothing in the article to indicate whether or not the headline was true, but it didn’t ring true to me. Sure enough, a look at the summary states that, “less than 1% of the population as a whole [attended Oxbridge]”.
    This is another indication that journalists need more education in basic mathematics and statistics, in this case learning to use “” when they want to say “less than”.

    3 years ago