It’s all about the test: Counting COVID-19 deaths *updated*

Who is and is not being counted in this daily reported figure? What are the regional variations and why? We explain below.

Two sets of COVID-19 data are regularly being produced:

(1) Daily reports on the deaths of people who had tested positive for the virus (mostly dying in hospital, though may include some people discharged to care homes); and
(2) Weekly reports based on COVID-19 being listed on death certificates no matter where the person died — but there’s a delay to account for the registration process. (The Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency intend to provide a further level of breakdown to include deaths in care homes.)

The Downside of Success – Coping with our increasing tourist numbers…

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Over the past number of years, Northern Ireland’s tourism industry has maintained a steady growth and our visitor attractions have continued to become more popular than ever. These high levels of tourism are a relatively new phenomenon for the region and perhaps not one we have yet learnt how to deal with properly. In 2017 there were an estimated 4.9 million overnight trips in Northern Ireland, the highest estimates on record. Many of our most popular visitor attractions are purpose-built …

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The serious business of statistics

When something you hear makes you burst out laughing, you know it’s time to write a blog. In this case, I was listening to “the biggest show in the country” on the subject of Boris Johnson and his peddling of the myth that once Brexit is achieved there will be £350m a week available for the NHS. Indeed, Sir David Norgrove, the Chair of the UK Statistics Authority took the unprecedented step of writing to the foreign secretary to say …

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Poverty, deprivation, identity and voting, a desire for integration, and who funds peace building?

As posted earlier, the Community Relations Council’s first Northern Ireland Peace Monitoring Report was published today. It includes a handy reminder of the main moments since 1974 when ‘the hand of history’ has been on the peace process as well as an overview of the demography of Northern Ireland and a profile of its workforce. Amongst population figures, communal identity breakdown charts and graphs of productivity and living standards, one table explains that compared to the UK as a whole, …

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Painting a picture of the peace process by numbers – CRC’s NI Peace Monitoring Report

Almost £100m a year has been granted for peace-building in Northern Ireland and the six border counties of the Republic since 1987. The number of incidents of paramilitary violence decreased between 2010 and 2011. The PSNI clearance rate for crimes such as paramilitary assaults/punishment beatings in 2011 was only 4%. Northern Ireland has the highest percentage of adults of working age in the UK with no educational qualifications: 20%, compared with 10% of the UK as a whole. The overwhelming …

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Charting the Assembly election candidates

Number of parties standing in each constituency along with number of independents in 2011 Assembly election

Following on the nominations announcement, we now know that Belfast East will have 17 candidates listed on its long ballot paper. Belfast South and Belfast West are next largest with 14 candidates each. South Antrim will have the shortest ballot papers with only 10 candidates listed. Just five constituencies have all six “sitting” MLAs standing again for re-election – Belfast North/South/West, Newry and Armagh, and South Antrim. Four constituencies have just four of their existing MLAs fighting to be elected. …

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Poorly spun electoral yarn

I like a bit of spinning and manipulation during an election, it’s a dirty business and most parties are up for some deceit and/or dishonesty. Though Alliance are pushing their luck a bit with the claim ‘It’s Naomi or Robinson’ in their election cartoon – the claim is supported with the essentially correct statistic that only 52 votes separated them in 2007. Though it completely masks the fact that the total DUP vote of 11,155 dwarfed Alliance’s 5,583 and even the UUP were …

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