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

Recent episodes (10)

  • WS How safe is flying? 28 Mar 15

    Sat, 28 Mar 15

    Duration:
    10 mins

    The Germanwings A320 tragedy, in which 150 people died, is the latest in a series of fatal crashes over the past year. Are more planes crashing, or does it just seem that way? Plus: is the number of penalties Chelsea Football Club have been awarded in the Premier League this season "abnormally low" as they have claimed? This programme was first broadcast on the BBC World Service.

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  • Does Breastfeeding Increase IQ? 21 Mar 15

    Sat, 21 Mar 15

    Duration:
    10 mins

    A major 30-year study claims to show breastfed babies become more intelligent, higher earning adults. It's not the first time we've heard that breastfeeding raises IQ levels; but is this evidence any more convincing? Ruth Alexander and Hannah Moore explore the details with Dr Stuart Ritchie from The University of Edinburgh. This programme was first broadcast on the BBC World Service.

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  • WS Measuring World Health 14 Mar 15

    Sat, 14 Mar 15

    Duration:
    10 mins

    Babies born in Rwanda are likely to live healthier lives than those in the most deprived 10% of England, according to recent reports. But does the data back this up? And how is "good health" measured across the world? Hannah Moore and Wesley Stephenson explore the numbers with Professor David Gordon from Bristol University’s International Poverty Research Centre. This programme was first broadcast on the BBC World Service.

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  • WS The future of food 07 Mar 15

    Sat, 7 Mar 15

    Duration:
    10 mins

    "In the next 40 years, humans will need to produce more food that they did in the previous 10,000," claimed a recent edition of The Economist. Ruth Alexander and Hannah Moore look at whether this is true. With the world's population expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, how confident can we be that everyone will have enough to eat? This programme was first broadcast on the BBC World Service.

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  • WS Black prisoners in the US 28 Feb 15

    Sat, 28 Feb 15

    Duration:
    10 mins

    Oscar-winner John Legend said that there are more black men "under correctional control" in the United States today than were in slavery in 1850. Is he right? Plus, how many Lego bricks, stacked one on top of the other, would it take to destroy the bottom brick? This programme was first broadcast on the BBC World Service.

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  • WS Sleeping: the 8-hour myth 21 Feb 15

    Sat, 21 Feb 15

    Duration:
    10 mins

    It’s often said that we should all be aiming to get eight hours of sleep a night but could it actually lead you to an early grave? Ruth Alexander reports. This programme was first broadcast on the BBC World Service.

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  • The mathematical secrets to relationships 14 Feb 15

    Sat, 14 Feb 15

    Duration:
    10 mins

    How maths can help you find love, and hold on to it. Plus, we hear a collection of our listeners’ favourite statistics. This programme was first broadcast on the BBC World Service.

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  • WS Is strenuous jogging bad for you? 07 Feb 15

    Mon, 9 Feb 15

    Duration:
    10 mins

    Tim Harford asks whether claims that keen runners might be damaging their health are really true? And is infidelity among cruise ship passengers rife? This programme was first broadcast on the BBC World Service.

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  • Is strenuous jogging bad for you? 06 Feb 15

    Fri, 6 Feb 15

    Duration:
    28 mins

    Tim Harford on claims that keen runners might be damaging their health. Plus, tuition fees; affairs among cruise passengers; UK election safe seats; loyal listeners' favourite statistics.

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  • WS The maths of dating 31 Jan 15

    Mon, 2 Feb 15

    Duration:
    10 mins

    How to use mathematics to find your life partner. Plus: what are the chances that two friends, given the same due date for their babies' birth, actually do give birth on the same day? This programme was first broadcast on the BBC World Service.

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