Andrew Ducker (andrewducker) wrote,
Andrew Ducker
andrewducker

Lying with stats - alcohol and violence edition

Lots of headlines over the last few days about the fact that violence is down, and that alcohol is more expensive and ARE THESE THINGS CONNECTED?!?!?!?!

Which would be pretty exciting if true. So let's take a look at the stats:


Ok, violence definitely down, and as alcohol is less affordable that could be making a difference, right?



Oh.

So, alcohol is _massively_ more affordable than it was in the 80s, and more affordable than it was even in 2000, but because it's less than it was at the peak, journalists are happy to blame the violence on alcohol? (And yes, the alcohol curve starts in the 80s, while violence is only showing the last decade, but even peering closely at the alcohol affordability for the last decade I can't see anything which looks anything like correlation. Particularly as the alcohol affordability peaked in 2008 and violence...didn't.)

This isn't to say that there is _no_ link, but the sheer eagerness of the newspapers to leap onto this is incredibly annoying.

Both graphs from this Full Fact article on Violence and Alcohol.



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