This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

If you are a user of my textbook and would like to suggest a blog post idea, please email me at: john.weeks@sdsu.edu

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A "Fox" in the Data House

Thanks to my son, John Weeks (Professor of Organizational Behavior at IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland), for pointing me to a mediamatters.org blog item about a rather gross case of "lying" with statistics. In this case, the "lie" is a visual, in which Fox News created a graph of unemployment rates in the US in the past year. The actual data (themselves reported correctly by Fox), derived from the Current Population Survey, show clearly that in January of 2011 the unemployment rate was 9.0% and that the most recent data for November 2011 from the CPS show that it has dipped to the lowest level in quite a while, at 8.6%. The graph, however, visually shows the 8.6% to be virtually the same as 9.0%--suggesting no improvement over time. You'll have to decide for yourself why someone would do that, but you should see it for yourself in all events.

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