Archive for demographics

Xs Xplain’d

Posted in Statistics with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 31, 2021 by xi'an

tempDavid Spiegelhalter is starting a column in The Guardian about COVID-19, the first installment being about excess death statistics. Arguing rightly that it is “fairer to look at what has happened to the total number of deaths”, since this is an objective quantity (in countries with trustworthy death statistics). The discussion on how many of the excess deaths can be attributed to the pandemic is somewhat confusing, though, as little can be said with enough confidence, between the positive impact (flu deaths have plummeted, 30% less traffic deaths in France, &tc.) and the negative impact (stress, harsher economic or social conditions, &tc.) A worthy warning: the deficit in “other” deaths during the second wave is partly due to the extra deaths during the first wave, esp. for fragile and elderly persons.

un des aspects surprenants des analyses et des commentaires sur l’épidémie de Covid-19 est l’absence de la statistique

Posted in Statistics, University life with tags , , , , , , , on May 6, 2020 by xi'an

From one French demographer (INED) in Le Monde [my translation], with a clustering of French departments into three classes [the figures on the above map are the lags after the first death in Haut-Rhin]:

One of the surprising aspects of the analyses and commentaries on the Covid-19 epidemic is the absence of statistics. Every evening, however, we are bombarded with figures, and many sites, from Public Health France (SpF) to Johns-Hopkins University (Maryland), abound in data.

But a number carries a meaning only in reference to other figures. This is where the real statistics start. However, apart from comparing the number of contagions and deaths by country and date, little has been learned from the data, which could provide useful information on the nature and progression of the epidemic (…)

We can see that the diversity of close contacts is one of the keys to the evolution of the epidemic. Instead of reasoning on abstract coefficients such as the famous average number R⁰ of contagions per person, we should be able to delve into the details of these contagions. We see here that traffic axes, institutions and housing probably occupy a strategic position towards an explanation.

This analysis is inevitably limited to the nature of the data and their possible faults. It would be useful to collect more detailed information on the nature of the contacts of each new case of contagion and to analyze it, or even to carry out random surveys with Covid-19 test, in a word, to make the statistics.

and it only gets worse…

Posted in Kids, pictures with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 28, 2018 by xi'an

“…in less than two years, my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country.” Donald T.

“President Trump is building a wall of tariffs around the domestic economy, attempting to protect American jobs by limiting imports. But a tire factory that opened last year in Richburg, S.C., offers a reminder that globalization is hard to stop.”  NYT, Sep 18

“Worried their chance to cement a conservative majority on the Supreme Court could slip away, a growing number of evangelical and anti-abortion leaders are expressing frustration that Senate Republicans and the White House are not protecting Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh more forcefully from a sexual assault allegation”  NYT, Sep 20

 President Trump rejected the official estimate from the Puerto Rico government that nearly 3,000 people died from Hurricane Maria through a series of misleading or false claims: He cited an outdated tally that officials had acknowledged almost immediately was too low, misleadingly suggested that doubt over the tally did not emerge until “a long time later,” accused Democrats, without evidence, of inflating the figures and wrongly described the current official estimate as counting all deaths on the island, regardless of whether they were related to the storm.” NYT, Sep 13

“The Trump administration is rolling back Obama-era standards to limit planet-warming methane pollution from oil and gas operations on federal lands (…) In a separate action, the Environmental Protection Agency last week finalized a plan to eliminate the Obama administration’s requirement that oil and gas companies monitor and fix methane leaks for new operations.” The Guardian, Sep 19