July 29, 2009

regarding Mr. O'Reilly's Great Moment in Statistics

The question was: "Has anyone noted that life expectancy in Canada under our health system is higher than that in the USA?"

Mr. O'Reilly answered: "Well, that's to be expected, Peter, because we have ten times as many people as you do. That translates into ten times as many accidents, crimes, down the line."


Which does raise the question, across countries, how does life expectancy relate to population? Right now, the data look like 
this, courtesy of Wolfram Alpha (h/t: Dan P.):

And you can view historic data, to follow the relationship over time, (click that big link, then hit the "play button") thanks to gapminder (h/t: Brian C.):

As an avid (yet humble) empiricist, I am grateful to Mr. O'Reilly for giving us this opportunity to look at some data.

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