And the winners are…


In previous posts I discussed the Royal Statistical Society’s ‘Statistic of the Year’ award. I’m now grateful to for having pointed out that the winners for 2018 have now been announced. They are as follows:

International award: 90.5%

UK award: 27.8%

Before reading any further you might like to have a quick guess at where those statistics derive from and why they might have been selected.

Actually, the two statistics have contrasting motivations: one is pretty depressing, while the other is a cause for some optimism. Maybe this balance was intentional. The 90.5% is the proportion of plastic waste that has been produced and not recycled. The 27.8% is the peak percentage of all electricity produced in the UK due to solar power on 30 June this year, which actually made it the largest single form of energy production in the UK on that particular day.

You can find a fuller explanation of the awards here. This also includes a list of ‘highly commended’ nominations. I guess my favourite is 16.7%, which is the proportional reduction in the number of Jaffa Cakes in a McVities’ Christmas tube due to shrinkflation. This is the process whereby manufacturers hide actual price increases by reducing the volume of a product – often by stealth – while keeping the price the same. Who knows why so many manufacturers should suddenly be adopting this strategy?

Meanwhile, remember to take note of any potential nominations for the 2019 awards.

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