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Statistics quiz What is the population of the world? What was the population 25 years ago? 50 years ago? 100 years ago? What are the five countries with the highest populations?

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Statistics quiz What is the population of the United Kingdom? What are the populations of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland?

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Statistics quiz On average, how many babies are born per day in Britain? (Don’t guess: try to work it out from other things you know.) The number of babies born per day will vary about the average. What factors influence these numbers? Give a range for the number of babies born per day in the form a ± b.

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Statistics quiz What are the mean heights of adult males and adult females in Britain? What are the standard deviations? How do these figures vary with age – and why? What other factors may affect these figures?

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Statistics quiz “Most people have more than the average number of legs.” Is this true, false or meaningless? “Most people earn less than the average wage” Is this true, false or meaningless?

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Statistics quiz How many cars are there on the roads of Britain? How many people per day die in road traffic accidents in Britain? How do these figures compare with 20, 40 or 80 years ago?

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Statistics quiz What was 32-20-32 in 1920 and had become 34-24-33 by 1960? What was it in 2000? Is there a message in those figures?

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Statistics quiz The murder rates in England, per 100,000 of the population, for the last five centuries were – 0.97.01.75.01.5 – but not in that order Put the figures in the right order, from 16 th C to 20 th C.

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Statistics quiz How much money would you save on your electricity bill in one year by replacing one standard light bulb with a low energy light bulb? “Up to 10% of the electricity supply is being wasted on electrical appliances left on standby.” Comment.

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Statistics quiz “In Britain we waste about one-third of all the food we buy.” “Many people do not drink enough water: adults should drink 2.5 litres per day.” Both of those claims are often repeated – but wrong. What is the truth underlying these two claims?

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Statistics quiz In 1981 there were 2.4 million marriages in the USA and 1.2 million divorces. This has led to a much publicised statistic that 50% of American marriages end in divorce. What is wrong with that reasoning? What statistical fallacy does that reasoning exhibit?

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Statistics quiz “The trade between the United States and Canada amounts to about $1m per second.” (BBC Radio 4) Is that plausible or not? Give some reasoning for or against.

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Statistics quiz Would you be more willing to back a horse that had won its last three races or one that had lost its last three races? Why? Would you be more willing to put money into an investment fund that had done well in the last three years or one that had done badly in the last three years? Why?

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Statistics quiz What species were destroyed when an asteroid hit the Earth 65 million years ago? “You are more likely to die from an asteroid hitting the earth than in a car accident.” True or false? Explain your answer.

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Statistics quiz What is the chance of winning the jackpot in the National Lottery? Why should you buy your lottery ticket as late as possible before the draw?

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