Elementary Arithmetic

You have 285,200 births in Australia in 2007, according to the radio this morning, of which an estimated 2,000 are home births. That, says the presenter, is ‘point zero, zero seven per cent of births’.

A recent issue of a Skeptics Magazine initially claimed that 7.6% of the US population was behind bars.

This article — which I otherwise think is excellent — includes the following statement: ‘but it represents about one third of a per cent (0.0033 per cent) of the world dolphin population’.

Is doing percentages really that hard? To find a percentage you divide the count of the category of interest by the total count … and then you multiply by 100. Pretty easy. The figure should be expressed the same whether written in words are spelt out.

The three real figures are, respectively, 0.7%, 0.76% and 0.33%.

This entry was posted in Rant. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *