Never Trust Statistics

Spot the logic flaw in this announcement concerning crime in California:

“Immigrants are far less likely than the average U.S. native to commit crime in California, according to a report released today by the Public Policy Institute of California. Significantly lower rates of incarceration and institutionalization among foreign-born adults suggest that longstanding fears of immigration as a threat to public safety are unjustified.

Key findings in the report, Crime, Corrections, and California: What Does Immigration Have to Do with It?:

* People born outside the United States make up about 35 percent of California’s adult population but represent only about 17 percent of the state prison population.
* U.S.-born adult men are incarcerated in state prisons at rates up to 3.3 times higher than foreign-born men.

I’m kind of embarrassed someone from the NPS didn’t see through this; it’s like an example straight out of How to Lie With Statistics

Published in: 'D' for 'Dumb', Geekiness, General, Security | on February 26th, 2008| Comments Off on Never Trust Statistics

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