Do Statistics Tell a Story?

canstockphoto11301502They say statistics always tell a story or do they? Looking at the Mauritius vital statistics for year 2014 for answers.

As at end 2014 the population of the Republic of Mauritius stood at 1,261,721 broken-down: 624,334 men and 637,387 women. Well come-on guys the ladies outnumber us. This probably means that some of our ladies will have to search abroad for a husband. However, we also need to look at the population figures from an island perspective because the Republic is made of several islands. For 2014 it looks like this: Island of Mauritius 1,219,659, Island of Rodrigues 41,788, Other islands 274.

The number of marriages registered during the year 2014 was 9,959 compared to 9,575 in 2013. The institution of marriage is still popular here.canstockphoto7814475

The birth numbers were 13,415, that is 273 less than in 2013. So is the tendency for families to have fewer children? I suppose that, as with any society, the constraints are similar, financial, work careers, living accommodation, all the usual societal stress factors.

Now for some of the more unpleasant figures. There were 9,682 deaths registered in 2014, showing an increase of 242 as compared to 9,440 in 2013. It would be helpful to have a breakdown of ages and causes especially about the health factors such as diabetes or cancer. For example, Mauritius has a very high-rate of diabetic cases.

The number of infant deaths registered during the year 2014 was 194, higher than the 2013 figure of 165. The number of still births registered during the year 2014 was 138 compared to 117 in 2013. The infant mortality rate increased but no real indication of causes. Are certain diseases the cause? Are infants receiving vaccinations correctly? Are there other factors maybe environmental ones, such as pesticides used in agriculture? Or simply, are the health services failing in one way or other? Many questions arise on this one.

Sometimes statistics tell a story but often the story is just a partial one and we are left with many unanswered questions. Many questions can be answered by the usual societal plagues. If you keep up with the country’s news you get a partial idea of the problems. Figures only give you a starting point and you have to dig deeper to get a hint of an answer.

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