The use of ‘cartograms’ for displaying comparative geographical statistical analyses has become well-established, being accessible and easy to extract meaning from. I seem to recall buying a social statistical atlas – ‘The State of the Nation’ (if memory serves) during the mid-80s. There is a dictum about ‘lies, damned lies, and statistics’ which always makes me chuckle. However stats should serve to illuminate, not obfuscate.
I was in London overnight between work commitments on 27 June so went to the 2012 Beveridge Lecture at the Royal Statistical Society. Prof. Danny Dorling spoke to a full house on the subject of “Fairness and the changing fortunes of people in Britain.”
Dorling has been researching and writing on inequality for many years. Inevitably there were strong parallels in this lecture with Richard Wilkinson and Kate Picket’s findings in their book TheSpirit Level – which was the focus of Prof. Wilkinson’s keynote lecture at the WEA’s Biennial Conference in October 2011. Various references to the contrasts in wealth between 99% of the population and the richest 1% reinforced the message behind the Occupy movement and Dorling’s graphs showed a wide range of inequality even within the wealthiest 1% of people in Britain.
He gave examples of educational segregation and geographical inequality as well as statistics on income inequality…
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