FiveThirtyEight: Inequality in college towns


Not a social article, but a statistical one: students have very low incomes relative to their aggregate purchasing power, making college towns look statistically a lot less equal than they actually are. This tends to give credence to the idea that universities provide more even uplift to the surrounding area than they’re given credit for…all due to statistical issues with the Census. And it’s not that the Census isn’t aware of these liabilities (and they note the effects, it’s just hard to imagine a better way to do this), but that most people can’t be bothered to do what FiveThirtyEight did and consider some deeper analysis.

Statistics on their own can’t lie…but people need to know more about statistics before someone armed with them uses them to lie.


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