Computers, cakes and golf; that's the good life

This article is accompanied by a large data set which can be a rich source of opportunities for graphing. Clarifying exactly what relative information is presented in the article is important first. Students should read the article carefully. The stance of the article is that comparisons are being made between the richest 10% of Australians and "everyone else", which would be the other 90% of Australians. The table however claims to have data for all households (100%) and the top 10%. The data in the table appear to be what are referred to in the article so perhaps the reporter was confused. Students should understand the distinction in these two positions. What difference would be expected if the larger group were the 100% rather than the 90% (most averages would be less for the 90% group, but there are a few exceptions!).

There are various appropriate ways of displaying the data in the table. Individual entries could be grouped into a few categories and pie carts constructed. Side by side bar charts for individual values or grouped values could show relative spending. Pictographs could be used.

Where to next?

Student Questions for this article
Newspaper article
Index - Related articles
Index - Data Representation
Numeracy in the News - Main Index