England’s Z-Score

Post Categories:   Coronavirus,Economy,Politics

2 thoughts on “England’s Z-Score

  • “The higher the Z- score the greater the difference between the expected number of deaths in a given period and the total number of deaths actually recorded.”

    The above statement is slightly misleading. The z-score is a measure of how unusual the number of deaths is compared to the past. It represents the probability that the current number of deaths can be explained solely by the variation seen in the past. A high z-score represents a low probability that the current number of deaths is due to the historically measured variation.

    For example, imagine there are two countries with the same average number of deaths in the past but the second country had more variation over time. If both countries then experience the same increase in the number of deaths over the historical average number of deaths the second country will have a lower z-score than the first country.

    “The graphic shows that the UK as a whole has a higher number of excess deaths than any other European country…”

    It may be true that the UK has had a higher number of excess deaths than any other country but that graphic does not show that. It display z-scores not excess deaths. It does show that the number of deaths experienced in England during that week is less likely to be due to the natural variation seen in the past than it is for any other country.

    • Thank you for the clarification.

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