British public wrong about nearly everything, survey shows.

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#1 Posted by loco145 (10829 posts) -

A new survey for the Royal Statistical Society and King's College London shows public opinion is repeatedly off the mark on issues including crime, benefit fraud and immigration.

The research, carried out by Ipsos Mori from a phone survey of 1,015 people aged 16 to 75, lists ten misconceptions held by the British public. Among the biggest misconceptions are:

- Benefit fraud: the public think that £24 of every £100 of benefits is fraudulently claimed. Official estimates are that just 70 pence in every £100 is fraudulent - so the public conception is out by a factor of 34.

- Immigration: some 31 per cent of the population is thought to consist of recent immigrants, when the figure is actually 13 per cent. Even including illegal immigrants, the figure is only about 15 per cent. On the issue of ethnicity, black and Asian people are thought to make up 30 per cent of the population, when the figure is closer to 11 per cent.

-  Crime: some 58 per cent of people do not believe crime is falling, when the Crime Survey for England and Wales shows that incidents of crime were 19 per cent lower in 2012 than in 2006/07 and 53 per cent lower than in 1995. Some 51 per cent think violent crime is rising, when it has fallen from almost 2.5 million incidents in 2006/07 to under 2 million in 2012.

- Teen pregnancy is thought to be 25 times higher than the official estimates: 15 per cent of of girls under 16 are thought to become pregnant every year, when official figures say the amount is closer to 0.6 per cent.

Among the other surprising figures are that 26 per cent of people think foreign aid is in the top three items the Government spends money on (it actually makes up just 1.1 per cent of expenditure), and that 29 per cent of people think more is spent on Jobseekers' Allowance than pensions.

In fact we spend 15 times more on pensions - £4.9 billion on JSA vs £74.2 billion on pensions.

Hetan Shah, executive director of the Royal Statistical Society, said: "Our data poses real challenges for policymakers. How can you develop good policy when public perceptions can be so out of kilter with the evidence?

"We need to see three things happen. First, politicians need to be better at talking about the real state of affairs of the country, rather than spinning the numbers. Secondly, the media has to try and genuinely illuminate issues, rather than use statistics to sensationalise.

"And finally we need better teaching of statistical literacy in schools, so that people get more comfortable in understanding evidence."

Source.

#2 Posted by Business_Fun (2282 posts) -

Yeah, but on the other hand we are number one in Europe at taking drugs. Silver linings, TC :)

#3 Posted by deeliman (3418 posts) -

I'm not really surprised, I think that this would be the same for a lot of countries.

#5 Posted by LJS9502_basic (152245 posts) -
This does not surprise me.....
#6 Posted by tenaka2 (17040 posts) -

A new survey for the Royal Statistical Society and King's College London shows public opinion is repeatedly off the mark on issues including crime, benefit fraud and immigration.

The research, carried out by Ipsos Mori from a phone survey of 1,015 people aged 16 to 75, lists ten misconceptions held by the British public. Among the biggest misconceptions are:

- Benefit fraud: the public think that £24 of every £100 of benefits is fraudulently claimed. Official estimates are that just 70 pence in every £100 is fraudulent - so the public conception is out by a factor of 34.

- Immigration: some 31 per cent of the population is thought to consist of recent immigrants, when the figure is actually 13 per cent. Even including illegal immigrants, the figure is only about 15 per cent. On the issue of ethnicity, black and Asian people are thought to make up 30 per cent of the population, when the figure is closer to 11 per cent.

-  Crime: some 58 per cent of people do not believe crime is falling, when the Crime Survey for England and Wales shows that incidents of crime were 19 per cent lower in 2012 than in 2006/07 and 53 per cent lower than in 1995. Some 51 per cent think violent crime is rising, when it has fallen from almost 2.5 million incidents in 2006/07 to under 2 million in 2012.

- Teen pregnancy is thought to be 25 times higher than the official estimates: 15 per cent of of girls under 16 are thought to become pregnant every year, when official figures say the amount is closer to 0.6 per cent.

Among the other surprising figures are that 26 per cent of people think foreign aid is in the top three items the Government spends money on (it actually makes up just 1.1 per cent of expenditure), and that 29 per cent of people think more is spent on Jobseekers' Allowance than pensions.

In fact we spend 15 times more on pensions - £4.9 billion on JSA vs £74.2 billion on pensions.

Hetan Shah, executive director of the Royal Statistical Society, said: "Our data poses real challenges for policymakers. How can you develop good policy when public perceptions can be so out of kilter with the evidence?

"We need to see three things happen. First, politicians need to be better at talking about the real state of affairs of the country, rather than spinning the numbers. Secondly, the media has to try and genuinely illuminate issues, rather than use statistics to sensationalise.

"And finally we need better teaching of statistical literacy in schools, so that people get more comfortable in understanding evidence."

Source.

loco145

No surprises, Britian isn't alone in this though, the public in the majority of countries would have similiar misconceptions.

#7 Posted by LJS9502_basic (152245 posts) -

No surprises, Britian isn't alone in this though, the public in the majority of countries would have similiar misconceptions.tenaka2
lol

 

Pst...it's spelled Britain.....

#8 Posted by tenaka2 (17040 posts) -

[QUOTE="tenaka2"]No surprises, Britian isn't alone in this though, the public in the majority of countries would have similiar misconceptions.LJS9502_basic

lol

 

Pst...it's spelled Britain.....

lol at bad spelling? Slow day on here I take it :P

#9 Posted by LJS9502_basic (152245 posts) -

[QUOTE="LJS9502_basic"]

[QUOTE="tenaka2"]No surprises, Britian isn't alone in this though, the public in the majority of countries would have similiar misconceptions.tenaka2

lol

 

Pst...it's spelled Britain.....

lol at bad spelling? Slow day on here I take it :P

OT is slow period.....there is no busy time anymore.:(
#10 Posted by Ninja-Hippo (23433 posts) -
Two words to blame for this; Daily Mail. Exact same situation in America; Fox News. News organisations which paint a relentlessly negative picture of the country going to ruins when in fact it's probably better than it's ever been in many regards, though obviously far from perfect.
#11 Posted by Barbariser (6761 posts) -

Old survey, also not surprising. It's unfortunate that public misconceptions like these exist, though, as they tend to drive politicians towards harmful austerity measures.

#12 Posted by mattbbpl (10871 posts) -
[QUOTE="Ninja-Hippo"]Two words to blame for this; Daily Mail. Exact same situation in America; Fox News. News organisations which paint a relentlessly negative picture of the country going to ruins when in fact it's probably better than it's ever been in many regards, though obviously far from perfect.

The misinformation industry has really gotten out of hand.
#13 Posted by Ace6301 (21389 posts) -
Really it seems like the same misconceptions would exist in most countries. Who here knows the amount of fraudulently claimed benefits per $100 for any place? How about national teen pregnancy rate? I imagine the issue isn't even being misinformed so much as just not caring.
#14 Posted by dave123321 (34358 posts) -
This does not surprise me.....LJS9502_basic
Really it seems like the same misconceptions would exist in most countries. Who here knows the amount of fraudulently claimed benefits per $100 for any place? How about national teen pregnancy rate? I imagine the issue isn't even being misinformed so much as just not caring.Ace6301
#15 Posted by Leejjohno (14088 posts) -

Yeah, they are quite specific questions that you are only going to know the answers to if you have read up on the facts intentionally at some point.

One reason why you should pass some sort of political test so you can vote.

The great thing is though that crime is pretty much reaching record lows but I suspect it will spike next year as a result of the recent govenment cuts.

#16 Posted by toast_burner (22485 posts) -

This aplies to pretty much everywhere, not just Britain.

#17 Posted by dommeus (9433 posts) -
This does not surprise me.....LJS9502_basic
Howso?
#18 Posted by comp_atkins (31888 posts) -

the problem every country faces: "Our data poses real challenges for policymakers. How can you develop good policy when public perceptions can be so out of kilter with the evidence?"

how can we have a representative government when the governed are so stupid?