Monday, January 09, 2006

Up in Smoke - Fun with statistics Part 2

Last week, I broke down a couple consumption numbers provided by Korea's National Statistics Office. At the time things seemingly worked out, however at the time I noted it was illustrative to check statistics in Korea with other statistics. A recent Chosun Ilbo piece proves this point. One statistic stands out:

But while in 1994 an adult smoked on average 7.8 cigarettes a day, that was down to 6.2 cigarettes in 2004.

Now as I calculated last week, based on consumption the figure higher was at about 10. I guess one could quibble the distinction between "buying" and "smoking", however one could also quibble there was a mistranslation.

It could also be argued the NSO and myself have a different interpretation of "adult".  In my breakdown "adult" was "male adult smokers". If the NSO means "male adults", we could be in agreement (male smoking rates are about 55%). However if the NSO means "male and female adults" a discrepancy would still arise.

With this in mind, I do not know how to react to this statistic:

[The National Statistical Office] found that each person over 19 consumed 73.1 bottles of the local distilled liquor soju in 2004

OK what is meant by "person"? All Koreans including children? If it were, after taking them out we are at a number well beyond 73.1 bottles (103.5 actually). Either way, rounding up that is two bottles a week for the average adult. Does that seem right to you? If not, you might want to look at this Korea Times article about whiskey consumption being up.

Anyway I recommend reading all the articles for some insight into consumption here.


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