Back of the envelope calculations on rape, and how many died under Stalin? Read more
UN rape claims, Stalin and Mr Darcy
Back of the envelope calculations on rape, and how many died under Stalin?
How to Cycle Really Fast
How much better are the pros than the rest of us and how effective is slipstreaming?
Should we have smaller families to save the planet?
Having one fewer child could be the biggest thing you do to reduce your carbon footprint
Getting Creative with Statistics
How big are your testicles and what does that mean?
Carbs, Sugar and the Truth
Does a baked potato contain the equivalent of 19 cubes of sugar?
BONUS PODCAST: Economics with Subtitles - How Buying Cocaine Helps the Government
The surprising story of GDP and whether it's time to change how we measure our economy
Numbers Behind a Tweetstorm
How do you get a hashtag to trend around the world?
BONUS PODCAST: Economics with Subtitles - Bracelets for Bullets
Why an Essex mum wanted her jewellery melted down and what it says about government debt
WS More or Less: Are Wildfires Really Burning More Land?
Are Wildfires in the United States and Southern Europe burning more land than before?
BONUS PODCAST: Economics with Subtitles - How Condoms Can Cost a Week’s Wages
Inflation can change your sex life – and pretty much everything else.
A no-frills life, automated fact-checking and Lord-of-the-Rings maths
What would have been the most efficient way to get to Mordor?
WS: More or Less - Automated fact-checking
Computer programmes are being developed to combat fake news.
BONUS PODCAST: Economics with Subtitles - Coffins Full of Car Keys
Why we have interest rates, how we misunderstand them - and a curious coffin connection.
African Trade Tariffs; Alcohol Safe Limits; President Trump's Popularity
Tim Harford fact checks EU trade deals with Africa, and whether one drink is one too many
WS: More or Less - How well do you understand your world?
Tim Harford talks to Bobby Duffy about why we are often wrong about a lot of basic facts
Heart Age Calculator; Danish Sperm Imports; Counting Goats
Tim Harford questions the usefulness of a popular heart age calculator.
WS More or Less: The Safest Car in the World?
A listener asks whether his Volvo is the safest car on the road?
Male suicide, school ratings, are female tennis players treated unfairly by umpires?
Tim Harford with statistics on suicide, good schools and sexism in tennis. Plus goats
WS More or Less: DNA - Are You More Chimp or Neanderthal?
What is the difference between 96% similarity or sharing 20% of our DNA?
How Many Schoolchildren are Carers? Shareholder Income, and Museum Visitors Vs Football Fans
Tim Harford on child carers, shareholder income, football vs museums and dangerous sports
WS More or Less: Trump and the Puerto Rico Death Toll
How can we calculate excess mortality after a natural disaster?
Surviving the Battle of Britain; the World Cup and Domestic Violence; Buckfast and Arrests in Scotland
Tim Harford on Spitfire pilots, and whether football triggers violence in the home.
WS More of Less: Surviving the Battle of Britain
Were Spitfire pilots killed after an average of four weeks in the World War Two battle?
Loneliness; School Funding; Same-Sex Divorce.
Tim Harford on a BBC loneliness survey; school funding; same-sex divorce; loyal listeners
WS More or Less: Why are Lesbians More Likely to Divorce than Gay Men?
Tim Harford talks to economist Marina Ashdade about same-sex divorce statistics.
Loneliness, School Funding, Same-Sex Divorce
A BBC loneliness survey, school funding, same-sex divorce and the loyalty of listeners.
WS More or Less: Paul Romer and William Nordhaus’ Big Ideas
The economists tackling climate change and growth.
WS More or Less: Foreign Aid: Who’s the most generous?
In foreign aid terms what’s the best way of measuring how generous a country is?
WS More or Less: Vaccines - The importance of the herd and social media
What proportion of a population needs to be vaccinated to stop a disease spreading?
WS More or Less: Do Assassinations Work?
How likely are assassination attempts on heads of state to succeed?
WS More or Less: When’s a Kilogram Not a Kilogram?
Updating the kilogram.
WS More or Less: Are 90% of War Fatalities Civilians?
Xavier Zapata examines what the data tells us about the deadly impact of war on civilians
WS More or Less: Sex and Heart Attacks
Are women more likely to die from a heart attack than men?
WS More or Less: Dam Lies and Statistics
Are mega-dams really sustainable?
WS More or Less: Mission Impossible - Quantifiying Santa
What to look out for on Christmas Eve.
WS More or Less: Numbers of the Year Part 1
The numbers that made 2018.
WS More or Less: Numbers of the Year Part 2
Helena Merriman with numbers about water shortage, plastic recycling and American jobs.
Sugar, Outdoors Play and Planets
Tim Harford on sugar, train fares, children's outdoors play and Earth's closest neighbour
WS More or Less: The Mathematics of Fever
We look at the numbers behind body temperature – what is normal?
Intersex Numbers, Fact-Checking Facebook, Jack Bogle
Tim Harford asks whether 1.7% of people are intersex, and examines false claims about MPs
WS More or Less: Close Encounters of a Planetary Kind
Which planet is closest to Earth?
Domestic Violence, Jobs, Easter Snowfall
Tim Harford on domestic violence, employment numbers, and the chance of a white Easter.
WS More or Less: Is Suicide Seasonal?
Tim Harford asks which times of the year are riskiest for suicide.
Holocaust Deniers; Venezuelan Hyperinflation; Tinder Likes
Tim Harford on Holocaust deniers; food prices in Venezuela, and dating app statistics
WS More or Less: You have 15,000 likes!
A listener doubts her popularity on the dating app Tinder. We investigate the numbers.
Teen Suicide; Brexit Business Moves; Wood-Burner Pollution
Tim Harford finds untrue a recent report that there is a 'suicidal generation' of teens.
WS More or Less: From the archives: Groundhogs and Kings
Assessing the accuracy of a Groundhog; How many English people have right royal relatives?
Climate Change, Victorian Diseases, Alcohol
Tim Harford on climate change, Victorian diseases, maths mistakes and alcohol consumption
WS More or Less: When maths mistakes really matter
Tim Harford talks to Matt Parker on how simple maths mistakes can cause big problems.
How To Make Your Art Work More Valuable
Die, sell on a sunny day, place your work a third of the way through the auction.
Could insects go extinct in one hundred years?
The gender gap in tech
Are women really less likely than men to be hired for jobs in tech?
Day light saving time and heart attacks
Does the sudden loss of an hour of sleep raise the risk of having a heart attack?
Is Mansa Musa the richest person of all time?
Is the West African king, Mansa Musa, the richest person who ever lived?
Chess cheats and the GOAT
What a statistical analysis of chess moves can teach us about this ancient game.
Rounding up the weed killer cancer conundrum
We examine the cancer-causing potential of the weed killer glyphosate
Where is Scotland’s highest village?
A battle is brewing in the Southern Scottish uplands between two rival villages.
The economic impact of mega sporting events
Major sports events and the benefits to the local economy.
Hottest Easter, Insects, Scottish villages
Should we be surprised Easter Monday was the hottest recorded?
Bernie Sanders and the cost of having a baby
Did Bernie Sanders get the cost of giving birth right?
Nurses, flatmates and cats
We look into sobering statistics about nurses and some curious claims about house-sharing
Avengers - Should we reverse the snap?
Exploring the economic impact of losing half the world’s population
Sex, coal, missing people and mice
Are we having less sex? And what happened to coal? (These items are unrelated.)
Sex Every Seven Seconds
We revisit some classic topics from past years
Heart deaths, Organised crime and Gender data gaps
Are more people dying from coronary disease? Plus how we need more economic data on women
Making music out of Money
A musical interpretation of a chart depicting the yield-curve of American bonds.
Eurovision and fact-checking Naomi Wolf
The stats behind making a successful song, plus misunderstanding Victorian court records.
WS More or Less: Florence Nightingale – recognising the nurse statistician
How collecting data about the dead led the famous nurse to promote better sanitation.
Hay Festival Special
What does it mean to say that the UK is the fifth largest economy in the world?
WS More or Less: Volcanoes versus humans
Does Mount Etna produce more carbon emissions than humans? We check the numbers.
Are married women flipping miserable?
Measuring happiness, university access in Scotland, plus will one in two get cancer?
WS More or Less: The things we fail to see
The hidden influences that a make a big difference to the way the world works.
WS More or Less: Dealing with the Numbers of Cancer
How one woman used statistics to help cope with cancer.
Questioning the Chernobyl disaster death count
We fact check the recent TV drama Chernobyl
Is nuclear power actually safer than you think?
We compare how deadly different forms of power generation are.
Two World Cups: Football and Cricket
We look at numbers involved with the two World Cups going on right now.
Zimbabwe’s economy: Are sanctions to blame?
We look at politicians’ claims that sanctions are to blame for Zimbabwe’s difficulties.
Missing women from drug trials
How medical testing on just men causes problems.
Pregnancy prohibitions – the evidence
Taking a statistical look at what expectant mothers should avoid.
The spread of fact-checking in Africa
With misinformation so easy to spread, how can it be stopped or challenged?
Immigrant Crime Rate in the US
Do immigrants commit more crime than native-born Americans in the United States?
Mice and mind blowing maths
Re-inserting a caveat and discussing a really cool numbers trick.
Exam grades, Chernobyl and Ethiopian trees
Was your A Level grade correct? Plus were 350m trees planted in one day in Ethiopia?
WS More or Less: Ethiopia’s 350m trees in a day
Were millions of trees planted in just one day in Ethiopia?
Amazon fires, state pension and American burgers
Are forest fires in Brazil the worst in recent times? What is the state pension worth?
WS More or Less: Amazon forest fires
Are they really 85 percent worse than last year?
Climate deaths, austerity and pet food
Challenging the idea of six billion deaths due to climate change; plus what pets eat.
WS More or Less: Deforestation in Brazil
Has it increased significantly since President Bolsonaro took office in January?
Maternal deaths, taxi driver earnings and statistical pop music
Are black women five times more likely to die in childbirth? Plus making pop music.
WS More or Less: Cape Town murders
Are eight people a day murdered in Cape Town and is that number unusually high?
Dementia, inflation and shark deaths
Health risks for Presidential hopefuls, falling inflation, shark deaths and salary claims
WS More or Less: Peaty v. Bolt: Which is the greatest world record?
Using statistics to compare world records in athletics and swimming.
Austerity Deaths, C-Sections and being struck by lightning
Has Austerity caused 120 thousand deaths in the UK and does God hate men?
WS More or Less: Who fought in World War 1?
Were a third of those that fought for Britain in WW1 black or Asian?
New hospitals promised, aid to Ukraine, and bacon sandwiches
Dissecting the government’s hospitals announcement and President Trump’s Ukraine claims.
WS More or Less: Does San Francisco have more rough sleepers than Britain?
Are the shocking statistics true? and how do you count people who don't wish to be found?
The Extra Episode: Minimum wage, drinking in Scotland and identical twins.
Exploring how long one identical twin lives after the other twin dies.
Esther Duflo and women in economics
Discussing Esther Duflo, Abhijit Banerjee and Michael Kremer’s economics Nobel Prize.
Edith Abbott and crime statistics
Social worker and economist Edith Abbott and her contribution to crime statistics.
Unbelievable: The forgotten rape data
How shelved data from rape cases in America is helping the police catch criminals now.
Reducing your risk of death
Can running and owning a dog reduce your risk of an early death?