Mail Maths Fail

by duncanr

mail headlineThe Mail Online carried a story yesterday with a banner headline proclaiming that 40% of Britons think the first visitor Jesus received was Santa – http://tinyurl.com/dx4nwz9

The headline certainly grabs the reader’s attention

A couple of things wrong with it though

This remarkable conclusion is based on the results of a survey of just over 2,000 children and their parents that . . . tested their knowledge of the Nativity. Extrapolating the results from such a small survey to a population of 63.2 million – (http://tinyurl.com/c5lavg4) – is laughable

Even more laughable though is the claim that 37 respondents out of 2,000 represents 40 %

Mail text snip

For the benefit of Sara Malm and her editors at the Mailonline, 40% of 2000 is 800. The 37 respondents who thought Santa was Jesus’s 1st visitor actually represents less than 2% of their sample

(37/2000) x 100 = 1.85%

Hardly 40% !

But then it wouldn’t make for such a sensational story, would it !

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