More or Less: Behind the Stats

More or Less: Behind the Stats

Tim Harford investigates numbers in the news. Numbers are used in every area of public debate. But are they always reliable? Tim and the More or Less team try to make sense of the statistics which surround us. A half-hour programme broadcast at 1600 on Friday afternoons and repeated at 2000 on Sundays on Radio 4. BBC World Service broadcasts a short edition over the weekend.

  • Updated:
    Weekly
  • Episodes available:
    Indefinitely help

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Recent episodes (10)

  • WS Global Wealth 24 Jan 15

    Mon, 26 Jan 15

    Duration:
    10 mins

    Who is in the world's wealthiest elite, and where do they live? Which are the world's best and worst board-games? Oliver Roeder, a senior writer for FiveThirtyEight, says a statistical analysis can tell us. This programme was first broadcast on the BBC World Service.

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  • Is anti-Semitism widespread in the UK? 23 Jan 15

    Fri, 23 Jan 15

    Duration:
    28 mins

    Are the majority of hate crimes in the UK directed against Jewish people? Plus: who are the wealthiest 1% and politicians' healthcare connections examined.

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  • WS Are 95% of Terrorism Victims Muslim? 17 Jan 15

    Mon, 19 Jan 15

    Duration:
    10 mins

    In the wake of the Paris killings, an imam in Paris told the BBC that most terrorism victims around the world are Muslim. Is that true? Plus: The death toll of the Boko Haram attack in Baga, Nigeria. This programme was first broadcast on the BBC World Service.

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  • How big are the Conservatives' planned cuts? 16 Jan 14

    Fri, 16 Jan 15

    Duration:
    29 mins

    The Conservatives' plans to achieve a budget surplus by 2019-20 have led to near universal acknowledgment that big reductions in spending would be required. However, David Cameron said this week that government spending would only need to be reduced by 1% per year. So, would Conservative cuts be big or small? Plus: are 95% of terrorism victims Muslim; Nigeria's Baga death toll; the world's best and worst board games; species decline.

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  • WS Bad Luck and Cancer 10 Jan 15

    Mon, 12 Jan 15

    Duration:
    10 mins

    Most cancers are caused by "bad luck" according to reports of a new study. But, actually, the study doesn't say that. Tim Harford finds out what the research really tells us. This programme was first broadcast on the BBC World Service.

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  • A&E waiting times 09 Jan 15

    Fri, 9 Jan 15

    Duration:
    29 mins

    The NHS in England has missed its four-hour A&E waiting time target with performance dropping to its lowest level for a decade, it's reported. Tim Harford takes a closer look at the numbers. Plus: do 85 people really own half the world's wealth; bad luck and cancer; beware the statistics which are true but unfair; and the dubious fashion for international rankings.

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  • WS Numbers of the Year part 3. 03 Jan 15

    Sun, 4 Jan 15

    Duration:
    10 mins

    What is the most important number in the world? Robert Peston tells us and Helen Joyce and Dr Hannah Fry choose their most memorable numbers from 2014. This programme was first broadcast on the BBC World Service.

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  • Numbers of the Year 2014. 02 Jan 15

    Fri, 2 Jan 15

    Duration:
    28 mins

    Tim Harford and guests look back at some of the weird and wonderful numbers of 2014. Featuring contributions from Simon Singh, Sir David Spiegelhalter, Helen Joyce, Nick Robinson, Helen Arney, Pippa Malmgren, Paul Lewis and Carlos Vilalta.

    Download 13MB (right click & "save target as / link as")

  • WS Numbers of the Year part 2. 27 Dec 14

    Sat, 27 Dec 14

    Duration:
    10 mins

    How optimistic are people about the future? The BBC's Evan Davis tells More or Less as the programme looks back at the most interesting and important numbers of 2014. This programme was first broadcast on the BBC World Service.

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  • WS Numbers of the Year part 1. 20 Dec 14

    Sat, 20 Dec 14

    Duration:
    10 mins

    What is so special about 39,222 Mexican teachers? In the first of three episodes looking back at 2014, Mexico specialist Professor Carlos Vilalta tells Tim Harford. This programme was first broadcast on the BBC World Service.

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