Sunday, August 31, 2008

Beware the percentage trick

The papers proclaim: “Record number of over 60s getting divorced”.
The number of pensioners separating has increased by more than a third in a decade, as members of today's more adventurous "Saga generation" are no longer content to sit out their retirement in unhappy marriages.

Experts believe so-called "empty nest syndrome" also plays a role, with many couples staying together for the sake of their children then getting divorced once they leave home.
Wow you think – the UK must be is awash with pensioners enrolling in dating refresher courses.

Hold on a minute. In 2007, 13,678 people over the age of 60 got divorced. That is 0.1263% of the population aged 60-80 years old. This number was up around 1000 people on the previous year.

We are talking about incredibly small percent of the population but when you state as a year on year percentage it works its intended magic and captures the headlines.

Juvenile journalism at its worst. Dick Stroud

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