Purple Rabbits (purplerabbits) wrote,
Purple Rabbits

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How to lie with statistics - example of the day

Just occasionally I like to take a line from a newspaper report and analyse it to death. So here's one from the Grauniad
Money laundering via bureaux de change - 65% of whose trade is dominated by drugs and terrorist activity, officials claim - is also to be targeted.

So, is that 65% of bureaux de change business? No, of course not. 65% of bureaux, presumably including many of the smaller bureaux, are dominated by money laundering. I'd say 'dominated' meant at least 50% of business, although I wouldn't put it past 'officials' to use the word even it were less. I also expect that the bottom 65% of bureaux do less than 20% of the business, so that's could easily mean that money laundering only accounts for 6.5% of business.

Of course I have no facts to back this up, but then I suspect that neither do they...
Tags: rant/opinion
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