While bar charts, line graphs and simple numbers are hardly capable of providing the defining answer to many economic, social and political questions, they are certainly a good way of obtaining a general overview of any particular subject.
Each month the Business Supplement will look into a brace of statistical information and provide readers with what we consider to be the central elements of these figures.
Natural disaster statistics reveal some surprising traits
Nearly 20 per cent of all natural disasters in the world can be attributed to just three countries, The United States of America, China, and the Philippines.
China actually tops the list in terms of the number of people affected in the last decade with 313 natural disasters affecting some 798 million people in total.
The U.S. had the second highest number of natural disasters in the last 10 years with a total count of 230, however it only hit 4th place when it came to the number of people affected, with 100 million being the figure.
Yet, the US topped the list for the total cost of the damage from natural disasters with a bill of US$525 billion since 2008, whilst China came in at second place with US$319 billion.
Different parts of the U.S. are prone to tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, heat waves and blizzards.
Japan was in third place for the total value of losses with US$247 billion of damagesblamed on natural disasters.Tsunamis, earthquakes and typhoons caused most of the destruction.
The Philippines, which stands in the path of typhoons every year was devastated in some years with 105 million people affected in the last decade. It sustained 186 natural disasters.
The numbers were compiled by the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and were the basis of their 2018 report.
Asia Pacific citizens have misperceptions about immigration
Ask anyone about the level of immigration and chances are they will get it wrong.
According to the Paris based Ipsos “Perils of Perception” report, the perceptions of the public are often largely at odds to the facts.
One area where perceptions were seen to be out of sync with reality was on immigration in the Asia Pacific region. When asked, Malaysians on average guessed that 36 per cent of all people in the country were immigrants, when in fact the actual number is only 9 per cent.
In Thailand the guess was 28 per cent against a true number of just 5 per cent, and in India the disparity was even larger. People on average guessed that 24 per cent of the population were immigrants when the total was only 0.4 per cent!
Singaporeans and Hong Kong citizens guessed the numbers more accurately and in fact they under-estimated the number of immigrants. In Singapore the average guess was 41 per cent whilst in fact the immigration number is 46 per cent. Hong Kong citizens came in closest guessing 37 per cent against a true number of 39 per cent.
The report, which covers 37 countries and which is now in its fifth year, doesn’t only measure perception of immigration numbers, but also highlights inaccuracies of perceptions on other diverse subjects such as climate change, crime, sexual harassment and economic facts.