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Statistical: Ten Easy Ways to Avoid Being Misled By Numbers

Anthony Reuben

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Economic statistics

An accessible guide to interrogating the many statistics we are bombarded by every day.

'Refreshingly clear and engaging' Tim Harford

'Delightful . . . full of unique insights' Prof Sir David Spiegelhalter

There's no getting away from statistics. We encounter them every day. We are all users of statistics whether we like it or not.

Do missed appointments really cost the NHS 1bn per year?

What's the difference between the mean gender pay gap and the median gender pay gap?

How can we work out if a claim that we use 42 billion single-use plastic straws per year in the UK is accurate?

What did the Vote Leave campaign's 350m bus really mean?

How can we tell if the headline 'Public pensions cost you 4,000 a year' is correct?

Does snow really cost the UK economy 1bn per day?

But how do we distinguish statistical fact from fiction? What can we do to decide whether a number, claim or news story is accurate? Without an understanding of data, we cannot truly understand what is going on in the world around us.

Written by Anthony Reuben, the BBC's first head of statistics, Statistical is an accessible and empowering guide to challenging the numbers all around us.

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Anthony Reuben

Anthony Reuben was the BBC's first Head of Statistics and now works on the corporation's fact-checking Reality Check brand, which he helped create. Anthony has 23 years' experience in journalism, and has been read by millions of readers of the BBC News website over the past 12 years. He has twice won the Royal Statistical Society's award for excellence in journalism and been shortlisted twice for the British Journalism Awards.

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