The only way is Essex? Actually, there's another way.

Published: 31st Oct 2014

Sometimes the way statisticians see things can be quite different to the way ordinary people do.

During this week's Prime Minister's Questions MP Sir Bob Russell said:

"More people live in Essex than voted yes in the Scottish referendum"

About 1.6 million people voted yes to Scottish independence.

The claim is right if you think of Essex as the historic ceremonial county (1.7m people), wrong if you take the census definition of Essex (1.4m people) which leaves out Southend and Thurrock (they're separate 'unitary authorities' not part of Essex County Council).


We naturally tweeted the census's version of events at the time. But that's the statistician's answer. People in Southend or Thurrock might well describe themselves as living in 'Essex' whatever the political lines on a map say. That's what the figures we used didn't account for.

So for the record, there are two answers to this one.

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