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How to Lie with Statistics – Coronavirus Edition

How to Lie with Statistics – Coronavirus Edition

The other day I saw this article on Facebook on, “The Best (and Worst Cities to be Quarantined.” Just so you know, even the title of this article is misleading, since after reading the article, I think they mean, “The Top 99 Metro Areas in the United States to be Quarantined Ranked.”

In any case, my first thought was to check whether my city was in the best 10. Unfortunately, it was not. But I also breathed a sigh of relief when I realized it wasn’t in the worst 10, either. After that, I checked to see if any city in my state made either of the lists. Again, another sigh of relief when I realized that although no city in my state made the best 10, none of them made the worst 10, either.

So, I live in the Detroit Metro Area, and it came in at 88 out of 99 on the list. You might say that this sounds bad, but I beg to differ, and here’s why:

  • Detroit was in the top 99 best metro areas in the country to be quarantined!
  • Detroit did not make the list of 10 worst metro areas in the country to be quarantined!
  • Detroit is higher on the list than that pesky city Cleveland, OH, that came in at 93rd on the list!
  • Of the four factors used to determine the rankings (Parkland, Internet Access, Apartment Size, and Take Out Options), Detroit did not come in at the worst in any of the categories! Although Detroit came in at 88 overall, it ranked 75th in Parkland, 89th in Internet Access, 83rd in Apartment Size, and 22nd in Take-Out Options. What does this mean? Detroit has more parkland than 24 other cities on the list! And despite the quarantine, Detroit restaurants are staying as strong as possible, and many of them are staying open for take-out orders!

So, I must say that even though some people may say that it doesn’t look good for Detroit right now, I am here to say – may the odds be ever in our favor. Stay safe, Detroit!

By Jon Oaks

College Math Instructor. Tech Enthusiast. Visionary. Creative Genius. But above all, I enjoy what I do. That is why I am a teacher. Because I like to teach.

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