Wrong about nearly everything

An illuminating article (with the best headline ever) in the UK Independent. Notable figures:

  • Crime in England and Wales is 53% lower now than it was in 1995
  • 0.6% of girls under 16 become pregnant every year (the public believes it’s more like 15%)
  • £74.2bn is spent on pensions annually
  • £4.9bn is spent on Jobseekers’ Allowance annually
  • Offical estimates say £0.70 in every £100 of benefits claimed is fraudulent

British public wrong about nearly everything, survey shows - Home News - UK - The Independent.


Jason Retter: 0.6% of all girls under 16? That seems incredibly high given that only a small percentage of all girls under 16 would actually be able to conceive. So if you looked at a subcategory of girls that are both under 16 and able to conceive and then looked at the percentage of this group that becomes pregnant each year, surely this figure would be closer to the 15% figure than to 0.6%? And in that case the public is probably right to be shocked…

Henry Stanley: I’d imagine most girls are fertile from around their first period, which would be a significant proportion of under-16s. But I take your point. The figure for girls between 15 and 17 in England is 4% (4.06 per 1,000) according to http://www.fpa.org.uk/factsheets/teenage-pregnancy#HjoG.