**The price of living it up in Qld
**

This article is of interest mainly because of the method of representation in the graphs. With 100% considered the Australian average, the graphs are individually scaled as required to represent states' data compared to this 100%. Absolute numbers are impossible to determine and a large bar for Tasmania may represent fewer people than a small bar for NSW. The fact that the vertical scales vary could be confusing on first glance. If the bars represented people rather than percentages we would expect the areas above the 100%-line to be equal to those below. This is obviously not so in most of the graphs. In the "Mental Disorders" graph, for example, Victoria itself nearly balances the other four states besides NSW. Students need to be made aware of how to interpret such graphs and to avoid using them unless it is made clear to the reader what is happening.

Where to next?Student Questions for this article

Newspaper article

Index - Related articles

Index - Data Representation

Main Index - Numeracy in the News