Facts don’t figure in stats jungle

Elaine Byrne - avatar

Elaine Byrne

5th July, 2015

Huddled around conference tables across the country are interest groups writing 2016 pre-budget submissions. Most will contain statistics which seek to authoritatively define various problems. After all, numbers are assumed to be immune from political prejudice. They are black and white facts presented as accurate readings of a problem.

This is nonsense. Statistics are never neutral because people ultimately create them. “All statistics are created through people’s actions: people have to decide what to count and...

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