Is Covid data being manipulated? Benford's Law says probably

So much for a Covid free holiday!!

In case you have never heard of Benford’s Law, from Wikidecevia, “Benford’s law, … is an observation that in many real-life sets of numerical data, the leading digit is likely to be small. … In sets that obey the law, the number 1 appears as the leading significant digit about 30 % of the time, while 9 appears as the leading significant digit less than 5 % of the time. … Benford’s law also makes predictions about the distribution of second digits, third digits, digit combinations, and so on.”

Here is a partial abstract of the paper.

In this study, we analyze daily new cases and deaths from all the countries of the European Union and estimate the conformance to Benford’s distribution. For each country, two statistical tests and two measures of deviations are calculated to determine whether the reported statistics comply with the expected distribution. … The findings indicate that only three countries were in line with the expected distribution, Bulgaria, Croatia, and Romania. For daily cases, Denmark, Greece, and Ireland, showed the greatest deviation from Benford’s distribution, and for deaths, Malta, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, and Luxemburg had the highest deviation from Benford’s law. Furthermore, it was found that the vaccination rate is positively associated with deviation from Benford’s distribution [my emphasis]. These results suggest that overall official data provided by authorities are not confirming Benford’s law …

I think that was a polite way of saying that some countries data is being produced by lying bastards!

Or watch the summary video here


Does anyone with two pennorth of street-savvy NOT believe that the figures are being manipulated? That sort of hypnotised-mooncalf credulousness needs a Lifeboat to keep it afloat.

Here’s an exercise people might care to try, since we’ve all been hypnotised with graphs for so many months.

Guess what the chart bottom right is plotting

Details/answer here