How the names of digital storage files evolved.
Kilobyte to Brontobyte: Naming the Monster Numbers
How Richard Thaler Changed Economics
The behavioural economist who has inspired governments around the world
Are US Millennials More Politically Engaged Online?
Did the 2016 US election galvanise young people to become more engaged in politics?
Novelists in Numbers
Counting the favourite words of well-known authors
Do Nigerian Lawmakers Make More than President Trump?
Fact checking the claim that Nigerian politicians earn more than 1.7million dollars
Why Albums are Getting Longer
More or less finds out the numbers that are changing modern music.
How Expensive is Italy’s World Cup Failure?
How much will Italy's surprise failure to make it to the world cup cost FIFA?
How Rich was Jane Austen’s Mr Darcy?
What the Pride and Prejudice character would have earned in today’s money
Just how lucky are regular lottery winners?
How statistics were used to show how unlikely it is to win hundreds of times by chance.
Does Eating Chocolate Make Your Brain Younger?
Are research findings misrepresented by funders, PR machines and the media?
Diet Coke Habit
What effect could the US President’s Diet Coke habit have on his health?
Will Bitcoin use more electricity than the United States?
Measuring the energy used to keep the crypotcurrency secure
Statistics of the Year 2017
Phones, lawn mowers and how Kim Kardashian helped the public understanding of risk
Just How Rare is a Hole-in-One?
Why it is not as simple to work out as you think
How Louis Bachelier Scooped Economists by Half a Century
A forgotten French mathematician’s unusual approach to the stock market.
Real Lives Behind the Numbers
How individuals manage their money - the personal stories behind economic data.
Is the US Census Under Threat?
The survey question that could affect the accuracy of its results.
Is China On Track to End Poverty by 2020?
We investigate whether the Chinese government can really achieve its extraordinary pledge
Russia: Has drinking fallen by 80% in five years?
Alcohol consumption has fallen sharply according to Russia’s health ministry.
Debunking guide – on a postcard
How to question dubious statistics in just a few short steps
The Winter Olympics
Which is the most successful country? Plus the chances of a dead heat.
Women, the Oscars and the Bechdel Test
Ninety years’ worth of Best Picture winning films under the spotlight.
Did Sir Roger Bannister make the ‘impossible’ possible?
A mile in under four minutes. Did positive thinking propel dozens to do the same?
Factchecking Trump on Trade
The US President regularly talks about America's trade deficit - do his figures stack up?
Were ‘Extra’ Votes Counted in Russia’s Presidential Election?
We look at voting data to investigate allegations of election fraud in Russia
How Deadly Was 1920s Melbourne?
How accurate is the murder rate in the crime series Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries?
Why London’s Murder Rate is Being Compared to New York’s
Finding out if London is now more deadly than New York.
Are We Breathing Unsafe Air?
The W.H.O. say 95% of people in cities breathe unsafe air, but what does 'unsafe' mean?
How Should We Think About Spending?
Tim Harford talks to economist Dan Ariely about the psychology of money.
Puerto Rico: Statistics v Politics
Why some fear the statistics authority is about to lose its independence
Exposing the Biases We Have of the World
Statistician Hans Rosling’s family talk about the book they co-wrote about preconceptions
What is the truth behind the 17th Century Dutch craze for tulips?
James Comey: Basketball Superstar?
James Comey is very tall - but what are the chances he could have been a pro baller?
Do one in seven businessmen throw out their underwear after wearing them once?
Harry Potter: How Many Wizards?
Fans have long debated - just how many wizards live among us?
How Many Animals are Born Every Day?
From penguins to nematodes - is it possible to count how many animals are born every day?
FIFA World Cup Extravaganza
How the ‘beautiful game’ has changed…through numbers.
How Many Words Do You Need to Speak a Language?
How many words do you need to speak a language and how many do native speakers use?
Running at the World Cup
Is it strange that Russian football players have run such big distances?
Are There More Stars Than Grains of Beach Sand?
Stars vs Sand. We work out who wins the ultimate cosmic battle.
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
How to Cycle Really Fast
How much better are the pros than the rest of us and how effective is slipstreaming?
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?
Numbers Behind a Tweetstorm
How do you get a hashtag to trend around the world?
Are Wildfires Really Burning More Land?
Are Wildfires in the United States and Southern Europe burning more land than before?
Computer programmes are being developed to combat fake news.
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
The safest car in the world?
A listener asks whether his Volvo is the safest car on the road
DNA: Are you more Chimp or Neanderthal?
Is our DNA more chimp or Neanderthal?
Trump and the Puerto Rico Death Toll
How can we calculate excess mortality after a natural disaster?
Surviving the Battle of Britain
Were Spitfire pilots killed after an average of four weeks in the World War Two battle?
Why are Lesbians More Likely to Divorce than Gay Men?
Tim Harford talks to economist Marina Adshade about same-sex divorce statistics.
Paul Romer and William Nordhaus’ Big Ideas
The economists tackling climate change and growth
Foreign Aid: Who’s The Most Generous?
In foreign aid terms what’s the best way of measuring how generous a country is?
Vaccines: The Importance of The Herd and Social Media
What proportion of a population needs to be vaccinated to stop a disease spreading?
Timing a Tsunami
How fast do Tsunamis travel?
Do Assassinations Work?
How likely are assassination attempts on heads of state to succeed?
When’s a Kilogram Not a Kilogram?
Updating the kilogram.
Are 90% of War Fatalities Civilians?
Xavier Zapata examines what the data tells us about the deadly impact of war on civilians
Sex and Heart Attacks
Are women more likely to die from a heart attack than men?
Lennon or McCartney?
How statistical modelling can work out which Beatle wrote which song
Dam Lies and Statistics
Are mega-dams really sustainable?
Mission: Impossible - Quantifying Santa
What to look out for on Christmas Eve
Numbers of the Year Part One
The numbers that made 2018
Numbers of the Year Part Two
Helena Merriman with numbers about water shortage, plastic recycling and American jobs
The Mathematics of Fever
We look at the numbers behind body temperature – what is normal?
Close Encounters of a Planetary Kind
Which planet is closest to Earth?
Is Suicide Seasonal?
Tim Harford asks which times of the year are riskiest for suicide.
You Have 15,000 Likes!
When listener Helen got 15,000 likes on Tinder she questioned the stats behind swiping
Hyperinflation in Venezuela
Tim Harford on the astonishing speed of price rises in Venezuela; teenagers’ screen use
When maths mistakes really matter
Tim Harford talks to Matt Parker about how simple maths mistakes can cause big problems.
How to make your artwork more valuable
Six top tips on how to get the best price for your art
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?
Daylight 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.
Bernie Sanders and the cost of having a baby
Did Bernie Sanders get the cost of giving birth right?
Avengers - Should we reverse the snap?
Exploring the economic impact of losing half the world’s population
US and British surveys show people are having less sex than in the past.
Making music out of money
A musical interpretation of a chart depicting the yield-curve of American bonds.
Florence Nightingale – recognising the nurse statistician
How collecting data about the dead led the famous nurse to promote better sanitation.
Volcanoes versus humans
Does Mount Etna produce more carbon emissions than humans? We check the numbers.
The things we fail to see
The hidden influences that make a big difference to the way the world works
Dealing with the numbers of cancer
How one woman used statistics to help cope with cancer
Are married women flipping miserable?
Questioning the claim that unmarried women without children are the happiest
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.
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 rates 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.