On social media, people often share survey research of vote intentions. On occasion, you may read estimates from Scotland that are not as they appear.
For example, the ‘UK Briefing’ account posted:
(Scotland) Westminster Voting Intention:
SNP: 37% (-11)
LAB: 25% (+5)
CON: 22% (+1)
LDEM: 10% (+6)
GREEN: 2% (-3)
Via [Redfield & Wilton Strategies], 22 Feb
Changes w/ 15 Feb.
Over 500 users shared this post, which shows a large change in intentions.
This is only a sub-sample. The Redfield & Wilton Strategies poll was of 2,000 GB adults on 22nd February. The survey was of online responses…
Jason Hunter, a campaigner, claimed:
You’d never believe this world beating UK vaccine programme if it were not for UK news and media telling you it was ‘world beating’ and that ‘Boris Johnson is doing a great job’ with vaccines…. because the data says that is just NOT true.
The graph shows the cumulative share of people ‘fully vaccinated’. That means people receiving both doses of two-dose vaccines. Similar claims spread on social media.
This claim does not reflect different dosing strategies.
Vaccines induce immune responses, giving our bodies a training exercise. Over time, protection wanes. …
What proportion of adults aged 16 to 64 are in employment? The Office for National Statistics conducts a labour force survey.
Statisticians use results from this survey to estimate this share. This survey also estimates unemployment and other key measures.
People can see these figures in monthly reports and spreadsheets. The ONS has launched a trial interface for accessing national statistics. Instead of shifting spreadsheets, analysts can draw figures straight from the interface.
The Customise My Data service has two parts: filtering and the new interface.
To use the interface in R, we download the necessary packages:
library(httr) library(jsonlite) library(tidyverse)…
The question arises: how many people are on this kind of contract? The Office for National Statistics asks a flexible working question in labour surveys:
Some people have special working hours arrangements that vary daily or weekly. In your (main) job is your agreed working arrangement any of the following…
Respondents can say they are on a “zero hours contract” or eight other options. There are two different measures of people on zero hours contracts. …
An erroneous image on social media claims there were 561,529 death registrations in 2020. This image uses the Office for National Statistics logo.
THERE’S NO PANDEMIC!
This number for 2020 is false: there were 608,002 death registrations in England and Wales.
The table, spread on social media, shows:
There are three years where the stated figure is incorrect:
How many people have a SARS-CoV-2 infection? During this pandemic, there is a vital interest in tracking infections over time.
This article looks at differences between infection surveys and the ZOE symptom study.
In the news, we often hear the daily number of new cases.
A case is a new person with a positive test result. That result can be via a laboratory or a lateral flow device.
Confirmed cases are not all cases. Testing regimes and accuracy influences these statistics. If testing availability changes, then recorded case numbers can increase or decrease. …
‘Protect the NHS’ is the appeal from the UK government, ordering people to stay at home. Pressure on healthcare services is important to understand during a pandemic.
How do COVID-19 admissions and patient levels change over time?
We can plot COVID-19 admissions and COVID-19 patients in hospitals in England. NHS England use the following definitions:
Prof Anthony Costello (UCL) gave evidence to an all-parliamentary group of MPs. The social media account for this all-parliamentary group summarised his contribution:
The worry is this — we do not really understand Long Covid and what it means. We don’t know how long this lasts in people’s bodies. There is a lot to be concerned about.
There are 19 million children in the UK. If we just let them remain un-vaccinated, half of them become infected. That is 9.5 million[.] If 15% or 13% get prolonged symptoms, that could mean 1.3–1.5 million children.
This article looks at estimations of…
On Tuesday 26th January, the UK daily COVID-19 death toll reached 100,000.
This article looks at the different ways of counting COVID-19 deaths.
Broadcasts and article will often report how many more COVID-19 there are.
This is not the number of people who died with COVID-19 on that day. There are delays between a person dying and their death entering record systems. The figure for the United Kingdom comprises:
With a mass vaccination programme underway, public health agencies publish key statistics.
This article looks at the available statistics and a furore over definitions.
In the United Kingdom, there are three approved COVID-19 vaccines.
The UK vaccination programme began on 8th December. On that date, people started getting the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. After 4th January, healthcare workers delivered the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine in the UK. Both vaccines have a two-dose schedule, at least 21 days apart.
The Medicine & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has also approved the Moderna vaccine.
The Public Health England COVID-19 dashboard publishes:
This blog looks at the use of statistics in Britain and beyond. It is written by RSS Statistical Ambassador and Chartered Statistician @anthonybmasters.